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Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022

What are the recent changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022 (“the Act”).

Provisions of the Act began to come into force on 12 May 2022, with the bulk of the provisions being introduced on 28 June 2022, with more to follow up until 01 August 2022.

Now in force:

  • Increase in maximum penalty for assaults on emergency workers from 12 months to 2 years’ imprisonment by s.2
  • Mandatory life sentences to those convicted of the unlawful act of manslaughter of an emergency worker acting in the exercise of their functions extended by s.3 (‘Harper’s Law’)
  • Section 46 expands s.14 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence) to now include offences against children under the age of 13
  • Section 47 inserts a new section 22A into the Sexual Offences Act 2003, creating further ‘positions of trust’
  • Section 48 creates two new offences namely breastfeeding voyeurism at s.67A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Section 49 introduces a new s.39A into the Criminal Justice Act 1988, disapplying the time-limit for bringing a prosecution of common assault or battery in domestic cases. The six-month prosecution time limit for such cases will now cease, they will no longer be statue barred

There are too many to list here but Circular 005/2022 provides comprehensive guidance regarding the new provisions and when they come into force.

A wealth of new criminal offences have been created, in addition to introducing a raft of new police powers to manage serious disruption caused by protests.

Contact the Public Defender Service to instruct one of our criminal defence lawyers for cases involving serious sexual offences, murder, manslaughter and serious violence.