Publication types:

Publication topics:
Blackmail, kidnap and false imprisonment

Published on:

31 January 2024

A consultation paper on draft blackmail, kidnap and false imprisonment  sentencing guidelines.

Why blackmail, kidnap and false imprisonment offences?

There are currently no guidelines for these serious offences and the Council felt that developing guidelines would be of benefit to courts.   

This consultation paper has been produced in order to seek views from as many people as possible interested in the sentencing of these offences.

During the 12 week consultation period, views on the draft guidelines will be explored with sentencers. Following the consultation, all the responses will be considered, and definitive guidelines published. The Council has also produced a resource assessment for the guidelines, along with a statistical bulletin and data tables showing current sentencing practice for these offences.

Who should respond?

We would like to hear from anyone who uses sentencing guidelines in their work or who has an interest in sentencing. We would also like to hear from individuals and organisations representing anyone who could be affected by the proposals including:

  • victims and their families;
  • defendants and their families;
  • those under probation supervision or youth offending teams/supervision;
  • those with protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

What do we want to know?

Through this consultation process, the Council is seeking views on:

  • the principal factors that make any of the offences included within the draft guidelines more or less serious;
  • the additional factors that should influence the sentence;
  • the types and lengths of sentence that should be passed;
  • whether there are any issues relating to disparity of sentencing and/or broader matters relating to equality and diversity that the guidelines could and should address; and
  • anything else you think should be considered.

It is important to note that the Council is consulting on sentencing these offences and not on the legislation upon which such offences are based. The relevant legislation is a matter for Parliament and is, therefore, outside the scope of this exercise.

When and how to respond

The consultation closes on 24 April 2024. See About this consultation for how to respond and our policies on Freedom of Information and privacy.

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