New Arson and Criminal Damage guidelines come into force on 1 October 2019

New sentencing guidelines for offenders guilty of arson and criminal damage offences across England and Wales come into force today (1 October 2019). The guidelines, published by the Sentencing Council, will see the courts take full account of the harm caused by offences such as arson attacks on historic buildings or criminal damage leading to severe disruption of public services.

The guidelines mark the first time formal guidance has been issued to courts for all arson and criminal damage offences covering:

  • Arson – criminal damage by fire
  • Arson / criminal damage with intent to endanger life or being reckless as to whether life endangered
  • Criminal damage where the damage has a value exceeding £5,000
  • Criminal damage where the damage has a value not exceeding £5,000
  • Racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage
  • Threats to destroy or damage property

Please see press release issued when the Sentencing Council published the definitive Arson and Criminal Damage offences guidelines in July 2019.