Chancellor Rishi Sunak will use £70million from Budget to make community sentences longer


COMMUNITY sentences will be made longer as part of a £70million Budget package to make Britain’s streets safer.

The money will also be used to expand the use of GPS tracking for convicted criminals released from prison on licence and ‘sobriety tags’ imposed on alcohol-related offenders, which ban them from drinking.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will give £70m for longer community sentences to make streets safer

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will also announce a £10million fund to tackle high-risk, high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse through early interventions.

The fund will also pay for more one-to-one interventions to tackle domestic abusers.

The extra cash will be part of an overall £100 million package. Meanwhile the Chancellor also announced £30million investment in new fully accessible public toilets.

He is also expected to confirm that all new public buildings must offer fully accessible toilets.

The additional £70million for the probation service could see those guilty of alcohol-related offences forced to wear an electronic tag on their ankle that not only monitors their location but also samples skin perspiration every 30 minutes to determine whether drink has been consumed.

Boris Johnson piloted putting sobriety tags on offenders when he was mayor of London but, despite a compliance rate of 92 per cent, the scheme was discontinued and never rolled out nationally.

The idea was revived by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland at the Conservative Party conference in the autumn.

Other clampdowns to be paid for by the incoming investment include expanding the use of GPS to monitor offenders, tightening their curfews and increasing the hours of unpaid work that those undertaking community service need to carry out, according to the Treasury.

Mr Sunak said: “Keeping our streets safe is one of the people’s priorities – we are already delivering on this by hiring 20,000 new police officers and building 10,000 new prison places.

“At the Budget, we will go even further with new funding to toughen up community sentences, crack down on domestic abuse and provide victims with the support they need.”

A further £15million will be provided to improve the court process for victims of rape and sexual abuse.

The Treasury said the cash injection will be used to hire independent sexual advisers who are “trained to guide and support victims through the justice system”.

The Government hopes the added funding will speed up charging decisions, while also providing extra online resources for victims of rape and sexual abuse, including a single digital hub.

Another £5million will be used to trial a new domestic abuse court, and the Budget is expected to contain £10million which will be directed at curbing domestic abuse by tackling “high-risk, high-harm perpetrators” through early action and using one-to-one interventions.