Mandatory life sentence for cop killers

Criminals who kill police officers in England and Wales will face compulsory whole life sentences, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

She unveiled plans for a change in legislation at the Police Federation conference in Bournemouth.

The current minimum sentence for a police murder is 30 years.

The Police Federation said: “We support any move that means a true life sentence will be applied to anyone who murders a police officer.”

May announced that the government is to propose that the minimum term should be increased to life without parole.

Appalling crime

The home secretary told rank-and-file officers the murder of a police officer was “a particularly appalling crime”.

“To attack and kill a police officer is to attack the fundamental basis of our society,” she said.

“We ask police officers to keep us safe by confronting and stopping violent criminals for us. We ask them to take risks so that we don’t have to.

“And sometimes you are targeted by criminals because of what you represent.”

She added: “We are clear – life should mean life for anyone convicted of killing a police officer.”

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 permits Justice Secretary Chris Grayling – following consultation with the Sentencing Council – to make an order to change starting points. (BBC)

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