Responding to Government plans to introduce tougher sentencing for certain crimes, Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said: "This is not the answer to restoring the public's trust in the justice system. If the government truly is the party of law and order, it must invest in the whole criminal justice system not just picking parts and ignoring others. Simply investing in the beginning (police numbers) and the end (longer sentences) of criminal justice will not address the problem.
"We welcome investment in rehabilitating those who have committed criminal offences; but that and sentencing very young people to life imprisonment will not make the public trust the system. Massive cuts to the justice budget over years caused a major backlog of cases in our criminal courts long before Covid-19. As a result, witnesses, victims and defendants now have to wait years before their case gets to court. What message does that give the British public? Investment in the entire system, including the court process, is now critical."