Olliers’ Martha Odysseos considers the following provisions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 which come into force on the 28th June 2022:
- Increase in penalty for assault on emergency worker from 12 months’ imprisonment to 2 years’ imprisonment.
- Required life sentence for manslaughter of emergency worker.
- Arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence to include offences against children under the age of 13.
- Further positions of trust inserted into the Sexual Offences Act 2003 regarding sports and religion.
- Two new criminal offences of breastfeeding voyeurism introduced.
- Time limit for prosecution of common assault or battery in domestic abuse cases changed.
- Offences of causing death by dangerous driving or careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs will carry max life imprisonment.
- New offence of causing serious injury by careless, or inconsiderate, driving.
- New police powers to impose conditions on public processions/public assemblies.
- New police powers to impose conditions on one-person protests.
- New powers for local authorities to make expedited public spaces protection orders.
- New criminal offence relating to residing on land without consent, in or with a vehicle, and associated seizure and forfeiture powers.
- Increase to the maximum penalty, upon conviction on indictment, for the offence of cruelty to a person under 16 from 10 years’ imprisonment to 14 years’ imprisonment.
- Penalty for causing or allowing a child or vulnerable adult to die or suffer serious physical harm increased from 14 years’ imprisonment to life imprisonment if a person dies and from 10 years’ imprisonment to 14 years’ imprisonment if a person suffers serious physical harm.
- New provision which places in statute an aggravating factor to be applied by the courts in cases of assault where an offence is committed against such workers.
Increase in penalty for assault on emergency worker
S.2 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 amends s.1 of the Assaults on Emergency Workers(Offences) Act 2018 to increase the maximum penalty for the offence of common assault and battery, when committed on an emergency worker.
Who is considered an emergency worker?
Police constables, others with the powers of a constable, those employed for police purposes and those engaged to provide services for police purposes.
Current Maximum penalty: 12 months’ imprisonment
New Maximum penalty (as of 28th June 2022): 2 years’ imprisonment
Required life sentence for manslaughter of emergency worker (Harper’s Law)
S.3 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 extends mandatory life sentences to those convicted of manslaughter of an emergency worker who was acting in the exercise of their functions as such a worker. This will apply to 16 and 17 year olds along with adult offenders.
This will only apply to offenders convicted of manslaughter when there has been an unlawful act which was intentionally performed in a situation which made it dangerous which then resulted in the emergency worker’s death. There will be judicial discretion to dis-apply the life sentence in exceptional circumstances.
Arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence
s.46 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 expands s.14 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to include offences against children under the age of 13.
s.14 Sexual Offences Act 2003 currently covers the arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence which includes rape and other offences against children under 16. The 2022 Act will introduce the offences of rape and other offences against children under 13 in to section 14.
The offence of arranging or facilitating covers the situation even if no activity takes place. It can also be applied regardless of whether a child exists or not.
Positions of trust
S.47 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 inserts a new section 22A into the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
This creates an offence for a person to enter into a sexual relationship or engage in certain other sexual activities with a young person where they knowingly coach, teach, train, supervise or instruct the young person on a regular basis in a sport or a religion.
This adds to the offences in section 16-section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act which include; sexual activity with a child, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity in the presence of a child and causing a child to watch a sexual act.
Sports is defined as including ‘any game in which physical skills is the predominant factor and any form of physical recreation which is also engaged in for purposes of competition or display’.
Religion is defined as ‘including any religion which involved belief in more than one god or a religion which does not involve belief in a god.’
Magistrates Court: 6 months’ imprisonment, a fine or both. This will increase to 12 months’ imprisonment for offences committed after XXX.
Crown Court: five years’ imprisonment
Section 48 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 amends section 67A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, to include two new criminal offences of breastfeeding voyeurism.
Captures the following:
A person who operates equipment with the intention of enabling themselves or another person to observe a person at a time when they are breast-feeding a child, without that person’s consent or a reasonable belief that they consent.
Captures the following:
A person who records an image of another person breast-feeding a child with the intention that they or a third person will look at that image for a specified purpose, without the breastfeeding person’s consent or a reasonable belief that they consent.
To be guilty of either of the offences the perpetrator must be acting for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification (whether for themselves, or a third person) or of humiliating, alarming or distressing the victim. It is irrelevant whether the breastfeeding person is in a public place or whether their breasts are exposed.
Magistrates Court: six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both
Crown Court: two years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.
Time limit for prosecution of common assault or battery in domestic abuse cases changed
Section 49 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 introduces a new section 39A into the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
This will dis-apply the time limit for bringing a prosecution for cases of common assault or battery where the alleged behaviour of the accused amounts to domestic abuse.
Current time limit: six-months from date of alleged offence (or from the time of any initial report to the police).
New time limit: six-months from the date the alleged offence is formally reported to the police through either a witness statement or a video recording made with a view to its use as evidence.
There will be an overall time limit of a prosecution being commenced within two years of the alleged offence occurring.
Article written by Martha Odysseos
Martha joined Olliers in April 2021 after completing an internship at Olliers in the summer of 2020. She commenced her training contract in September 2021.
Martha is currently undertaking her LPC part time during her training contract. Prior to this, Martha completed a degree in English Literature at the University of Reading where she was also the Deputy Editor of the student newspaper. She then went on to undertake an MA in Law (GDL equivalent) at the University of Law. Martha’s research topic focused on the use of special measures for vulnerable witnesses in the criminal courts.
Before joining the firm, Martha gained experience working in the Magistrates Court as well as undertaking voluntary work with the University of Law’s Pro Bono Clinic.
Martha has already been involved in a number of different cases in both the Magistrates and the Crown Court. Martha has also gained experience in pre-charge investigations as well as DBS matters and inquiries.