Council publishes analysis of the impact of its environmental offences guideline

The Sentencing Council has published the results of its analysis into the impact of its guidelines on environmental offences, introduced in 2014, on the types of sentences courts are giving offenders and the level of fines applied.

The Council has a statutory duty to monitor the operation and effect of its sentencing guidelines. Analysis was therefore undertaken to assess the impact of the guideline on sentence outcomes and fine amounts, and examine whether there were any implementation issues.

The analysis found that in relation to organisations sentenced for these offences, the guideline appears to have had the effect anticipated, namely that serious offenders would receive larger penalties, as some organisations have received higher fines since the guideline came into force.

There was less of a clear change in sentencing practice in relation to individuals sentenced for these offences, but this may be due to the type of offences coming before the court.

The full report can be accessed here.