22 October 2015
Assault offences: Assessment of guideline
The Sentencing Council has published its assessment of the impact and implementation of its assault guideline, under its statutory duty to monitor the operation and effect of its sentencing guidelines and to draw conclusions from this information. The assessment also reflects the Council’s approach of seeking to improve its work through consultation and evaluation.
This report is the result of the first such formal assessment and involved: a detailed study of the type and severity of sentences in the year before and after the guideline came into effect; an assessment of the potential resource effects of the guideline; and interviews and group discussions with sentencers, prosecution and defence lawyers to gather evidence about how well the guideline was thought to be working.
As a result of the findings published in this report, the Council will be reviewing the assault guideline as part of its 2015-18 work plan, giving consideration to the issues highlighted, as well as bringing the guideline up-to-date.