NEWS27 May 2011

NatCen to study attitudes to sentencing sex offenders

New business News UK

UK— The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) is to conduct a qualitative study looking at the people’s attitude to the sentences given to sex offenders, on behalf of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales.

NatCen will conduct group discussions with the general public and individual interviews with victims of sexual offences.

Lead researcher Carol McNaughton-Nicholls said: “It is vitally important that the views of the public, and especially people directly affected by sexual offences, are understood when it comes to considering appropriate sentences for sexual offences, and the purpose those sentences should play.”

The research aims to take into account the views of people who have been affected by a wide range of different sexual offences.

NatCen said the study will not be looking at the specific issue of sentence discounts for early guilty pleas in rape cases, which caused controversy when it was raised in an interview last week by justice minister Ken Clarke.

Results of the study will be published at the end of the year.