- Ministers are extending a system that lets the public challenge soft jail terms
- The Unduly Lenient Sentences scheme is reserved for certain types of cases
- But from today nine terrorism-related crimes are being added to the scheme
The family of off-duty police officer Elaine McIver (pictured), 43, who was killed in the Manchester bomb attack last May, called for tougher laws to cover terror suspects
Convicted terrorists could locked up for longer as part of a sentencing shake-up after the family of an off-duty police officer killed in the Manchester bomb attack called for tougher laws.
Ministers are extending a system that allows the public to challenge soft jail terms to include terror-related offences.
Criminals convicted of tipping off terrorists about investigations and suspects who flout anti-terror court orders are among those who could see their punishments queried under the expansion.
The Unduly Lenient Sentences (ULS) scheme is reserved for certain types of cases including murder, rape, robbery and the most serious terror offences.
But from today (Jan 29) nine terrorism-related crimes are being added to the scheme.
It means those found guilty of crimes such as warning terrorists about an investigation, or flouting Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, could have their sentences increased if victims think the punishment is too soft.
Other sentences which can now be challenged include cases in which a person learns of terrorist activity through their work and fails to report it to police, for example, an accountant discovering a client may be funding terror.
If a member of the public complains about a lenient sentence, government law officers may ask the Court of Appeal to determine whether it should stand or be increased.
The move comes after the family of off-duty police officer Elaine McIver, 43, who was killed in the Manchester bomb attack last May, called for tougher laws to cover terror suspects.
Justice Minister Rory Stewart said: ‘People who assist terrorists or fail to alert authorities to terrorist activity must be severely punished.
‘These changes ensure victims can challenge sentences that don’t look right, and make sure that they have every opportunity to see justice delivered.’
Last year, a record 141 criminals had their sentences increased under the initiative.