A definitive sentencing guideline for health and safety offences was published on 3 November and the MCSG now contains these guidelines in a purple colour scheme prior to them coming into force in all courts in England and Wales on 1 February 2016. Once the new guidelines are in force, the colour scheme will go to blue and the old guidelines will be removed.
An update for the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines folder will be prepared before the new guidelines come into effect on 1 February, and will be made available on demand. In the meantime a PDF has been created of the definitive guideline that includes the MCSG page numbers, which can be used once the guidelines are in force.
The guideline will cover health and safety and food safety and hygiene offences.
Consequences of health and safety offences can vary hugely; for example, there may be no injury resulting from an offence but the creation of a risk of harm, right through to an offence causing multiple fatalities. Food offences are similarly wide ranging. For example, they could involve very poor hygiene standards in kitchens, or failure to manage processes involving the preparation of food properly.