UK wants tougher sentences for crude terror plots

Lord Justice Treacy
Lord Justice Treacy

A judicial body in the UK has proposed tougher action against less sophisticated terror plots in the country.

The body in charge of ensuring consistent penalties and sentences.

Existing UK legislation imposes lesser sentences on those who plan more crude and rudimentary plots using cars or knives and not bombs and weapons.

Under proposals by the UK Sentencing Council, minimum terror sentences would rise to three to six years, compared to 21 months to five years under current law.

The new legislation would also allow people who helped the plotters, even slightly, to be charged.

“The latest acts of terrorism have involved far less sophisticated methods, many using motor vehicles, or knives, with devastating effects,” the Council notes.

“When considering these actions in the current climate, where a terrorist act could be planned in a very short time using readily available items as weapons… where acts of terrorism can be committed by many rather than a few highly- organised individuals, these offences are more serious than they have previously been perceived,” it adds.

The proposals published by the Council today are the first draft of recommendations to be made within a government review of terror laws and will be subject to a six-week consultation.

“We want to ensure that courts have comprehensive guidance for dealing with these extremely serious cases,” the councils chairman, Lord Justice Treacy, said.

“Offences vary greatly and could include someone who tries to make a bomb, another who urges others to join a terrorist organisation or a group plotting a murderous attack on the public.”

The council feels that given the heightened terror threat in the UK, this review was timely.