Duncan Lewis

Police killers would be attracting whole life sentence home secretary to declare

Date: (15 May 2013)    |    

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Murderers of police officers would be given a whole life sentences and be left to die in prison, the home secretary Theresa May is to reveal at the Police Federation conference

May says it was time for ‘life to mean life’ in such cases because police officer in the course of their duty represented the fundamental basis of the society.

She would be saying that the police officers are asked to keep public safe by confronting and stopping violent criminals and they are expected to take risks so that people don’t have to. That is why anyone convicted of killing a police officer should be given life whole life sentence.

Last time when May had addressed the Police Federation conference last year she was jeered and heckled. This time with the tough sentencing for killers of Police officers which is to come into effect within months, she could expect to turn the tide in her favour and receive a warm welcome from rank and file police officers. And at the same time making Tory backbenchers happy for towing a hard line in line with Conservative principles.
Twelve police officers have been killed while on duty since 2000.
The latest to die were two women police officers, Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, who were killed during a gun and grenade attack when they responded to a routine burglary call last September in Manchester. Dale Creggan, aged 29, who has admitted murdering them, is yet to be sentenced as he is currently on trial for the separate killing of a father and son, which he denies.
Crown Prosecution Service guidelines currently reserve whole-life sentences for serial killers, child murderers or those who kill in the name of religion, politics or an ideological cause.
Currently the sentence for murdering a police or prison officer in the course of their duty is a life sentence with minimum 30 years before considered for parole.
Mustaf Jama, Yusuf Jama and Muzzaker Shah, the members of a criminal gang that shot dead PC Sharon Beshenivsky during a robbery in Bradford in 2005, were all given life sentences with a minimum term of 35 years.
The longest-serving police killer is Harry Roberts, who was imprisoned in 1966 for the murder of three police officers in Shepherd's Bush, in west London. Who was sentenced to a minimum term of 30 years before he could apply for parole but he has so far served 46 years.
The whole-life sentence was introduced in 1983, by then home secretary Michael Howard. Since then, at least 63 murderers have been told they will not be released from jail, including 23 as a result of an executive decision.
The change is to be made by the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, who will make an order under the 2003 Criminal Justice Act to change the starting point for the murder of a police officer from 30 years to a whole-life order.