Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, recently worked with Essex colleagues, Anna Firth, MP for Southend West, and Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford, on the Government’s new Criminal Justice Bill 2024.
The 2019 Conservative Party Manifesto pledged to toughen sentences for criminals, increase police powers to tackle knife crime and bring in new offences related to the production and supply of drugs. The new Criminal Justice Bill delivers on these promises.
For the last two months, Stephen Metcalfe has been scrutinising the 2024 Criminal Justice Bill at Committee Stage with his Essex colleagues, Anna Firth and Vicky Ford.
At Committee, members worked on provisions to ban articles that are used to commit serious crimes, including templates for 3D printed firearm components, pill presses, vehicle concealments, signal jammers used in vehicle theft, and SIM farms.
The maximum penalty for the offence of importing, making, modifying, supplying, offering to supply, or possessing these articles for use in serious crime will be five years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.
The Committee also worked on the introduction of a new power for police to seize, retain and destroy legally held bladed articles held in private when the police are lawfully on private property and have reasonable grounds to suspect the item is likely to be used in connection with unlawful violence, including damage to property and the threat of violence.
This means that bladed gardening tools, as zombie-style knives are currently classified, will fall under new police powers if there are reasonable grounds to suspect it may be used for unlawful violence.
The Criminal Justice Bill now returns to the House of Commons for its Third Reading.
Stephen Metcalfe said: “It was a pleasure to work with colleagues from across the House of Commons on the 2024 Criminal Justice Bill. There are some very effective additions to the Bill – especially around knives and bladed articles.
I look forward to the Bill’s Third Reading and for it eventually becoming law. Ultimately, it will better protect the public, give the police the powers they need to cut crime and anti-social behaviour and improve public confidence in the police.
It introduces new offences for 21st century crimes, introduces tougher sentencing for sexual and violent criminals, and strengthens the supervision of offenders on release from prison.”