Tougher sentences proposed for NI criminals

Those found guilty of sexual or violent knife crimes in Northern Ireland could face tougher sentences following the government's plans to review sentencing policies.

The announcement came at the launch of Criminal Justice Week, when Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson said that the government wanted to hear the views and concerns of members of the public who have been affected by crime.

The Minister also said that everyone in the criminal justice system is working tirelessly to reduce crime and to make Northern Ireland a better and safer place to live and added that while much has been achieved, many challenges still lay ahead.

Mr Hanson said: “I will spend this week listening to people’s concerns and hopefully hear some proposals about how to make things better. Government does not always have the answers. Often it is those closest to the problem who come up with the most effective responses.

“Criminal Justice Week is also about highlighting the good work that is being done throughout Northern Ireland to reduce crime. I will be visiting some of the projects that are making a real difference on the ground. Projects such as our lock out crime initiative which is bringing comfort to older people in our society."

The Minister added: “However I am not complacent and know there is more to do. I am particularly aware of the public concern around violent crime. The growing use of knives was one such concern. That is why I ensured that Northern Ireland was part of the UK wide knife amnesty and why we are tightening the legislation on the sale of knives to anyone under 18.

“That is the reason I am currently looking at sentencing policy and make an announcement on this by the autumn. I am also looking at what reform is needed to the system which manages sexual and violent offenders.

“Northern Ireland is a safe place to live and it has a criminal justice system that is increasingly world class, but there is always more to do and I am going to drive that forward.”


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 May 2021
Consultation Launches On Victims' Experiences Of The Criminal Justice System
A public consultation has launched on proposals to improve the experiences of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system. The consultation will seek views on two areas: • a new three-year draft Victim and Witness Strategy for Northern Ireland • proposals for the establishment of a Victims of Crime Commissioner for Northern Ireland.
09 May 2022
All-Ireland Heritage Skills Programme Launches
The Department for Communities have announced that applications have opened for The All-Ireland Heritage Skills Programme, a course which aims to preserve heritage building skills that are at risk of being lost by supporting those already working in the construction sector to push their skills to the next level.
03 May 2022
Queer Greens Launch 2022 Assembly Election Manifesto
The Green Party NI's Queer Greens group has announced the publication of its 2022 Assembly election manifesto, outlining the Party's priorities for LGBTQ+ rights in Northern Ireland.
26 April 2022
Action Against NI Protocol Elevated To Supreme Court
The DUP has welcomed the news that a joint unionist action against the NI Protocol is being elevated to the UK Supreme Court. Upper Bann candidate Diane Dodds said: "The Protocol is not supported by a single unionist party in Northern Ireland. We have a Five-Point Plan which includes removing it. But we can only do that if we win the election.
11 November 2021
Justice Minister Praises Work Of Forensic Science Northern Ireland
The Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) has been praised for their part in delivering justice by Justice Minister Naomi Long. Visiting the FSNI Headquarters at Seapark, Minister Long viewed facilities and met with staff working across various forensic disciplines.