The government has unveiled a new counter-terrorism bill. Here are some of the key measures to be introduced in the legislation:
New sentencing regime
Terrorism offenders will be sentenced under the following terms:
A life sentence – where the offender spends a minimum period or “tariff” before being considered for release by the Parole Board. The offender may never be released. If released, offenders will spend the rest of their life on licence and can be recalled to custody.
Serious terrorist sentence – a new term for the most dangerous offenders, where there is a likelihood of multiple deaths, which carries a minimum 14-year sentence with an extended licence period of seven to 25 years.
An extended determinate sentence (EDS) – if this is handed out when the offence carries the maximum penalty of life, the offender will be required to spend their entire sentence behind bars with no prospect of early release. For other offences, someone given an EDS faces an extended licence period after release of up to 10 years.
A sentence for offenders of particular concern (SOPC) – for adult or youth offenders, under which they would spend two-thirds of their sentence in custody before being able to apply to the Parole Board for release. Following release they will have a mandatory licence period of 12 months.
The bill increases the maximum penalty from 10 to 14 years for a number of terrorism offences, including membership of a proscribed organisation, supporting a proscribed organisation and attending a place used for terrorist training.
Longer licence periods
Offenders will spend longer under supervision in the community, with a minimum period of 12 months on licence for all terrorism offenders, and adult offenders on parole will be required to take polygraphs, or lie detector tests.
Tougher tools for monitoring suspects
The bill expands and toughens the power of terrorism prevention and investigation measures (Tpims) by lowering the standard of proof for imposing the measure, removing the maximum length they can last and adding extra measures.