Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 11th July 2018
Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to commence Section 151 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 to allow courts to use community orders instead of fines for repeat offenders of low-level offences.
Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice
There are no current plans to commence Section 151 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Section 143(2) of that Act requires courts to treat previous convictions as an aggravating factor when sentencing. The Sentencing Council’s guideline on theft offences came into force in 2016. This guideline allows for the imposition of community sentences for shop theft in a wide range of circumstances. In cases involving significant persistent offending, the community and custodial thresholds may be crossed even though the offence otherwise warrants a lesser sentence.