Thank you for contacting me about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.
The first duty of any Government is to protect citizens and communities, keep them safe and to ensure that they can get on with their daily lives peacefully and without unnecessary interference. As you are aware, we are in a pandemic with a highly contagious virus circulating and this means that public health rules are in place which discourage people from meeting up for vigils and public protests.
Like many people, I have been troubled by the events surrounding the death of Sarah Everard and also the actions of the Metropolitan Police over the weekend. I welcome the fact that the Home Secretary has asked for a full inquiry and that the Prime Minister has chaired a meeting of the Crime and Justice Taskforce to discuss further steps to ensure women and girls feel safe. Every woman and girl should feel safe to walk our streets without fear of harassment, abuse or violence.
These more recent events have led to a heightened focus on the Police Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, which has my full support. This is a long-term piece of legislation which was pledged in the Conservative manifesto in 2019 and proposes a series of important reforms to the criminal justice system, bringing tougher sentences for the most heinous offences as well as further protecting public order.
During this period of extra restrictions as a result of the global pandemic, we have all seen our liberties curtailed and this Act offers us the chance to have an important debate on the role of police and the judiciary as we prepare to return to our normal lives. Bringing back the full right to peaceful protest will be a welcome return to normality.
Thank you for contacting me.