New sentencing guideline for the possession of a bladed article or offensive weapon

MA response

The Sentencing Council has published a new guideline for the sentencing of offenders convicted of the possession of a bladed article or offensive weapon and of using one to threaten somebody.

The new guideline applies both to adults and those aged under 18, although for the latter it will work alongside the Sentencing Children and Young People guideline. It is expected that the introduction of the guideline may lead to some increases in sentence levels, predominantly in relation to adults convicted of possession offences. The guideline will come into force on 1 June 2018.

The guideline is available here. The MA's response is available here.

The Sentencing Council has also published their assessment of the impact of their Allocation Guideline, which came into force on 1 March 2016. The assessment concludes that, in line with their expectations, the proportion of defendants sent for trial at the crown court has declined since the guideline was introduced but sentencing severity has not been affected. It can be read here.

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