Chief appointed to national body responsible for sentencing guidance Date published: 22nd September 2016 12.56pm

Cheshire’s Chief Constable has been appointed to the national body responsible for setting guidelines on sentencing.

Simon Byrne’s appointment to the Sentencing Council for England and Wales makes him the only serving police officer on the Council. The role will be undertaken in addition to his position as Cheshire’s chief constable.

The appointment is for three years.

Mr Byrne’s appointment was agreed and approved by the Secretary of State for Justice, Elizabeth Truss in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. It follows on from his appointment in 2015 as the national policing lead on criminal justice.

“I’m honoured to have been considered and appointed to this role. The Sentencing Council plays a critical role in ensuring that there is a consistent approach across the judiciary when sentencing offenders. It’s vital too, that justice is seen to be served.

“It’s an area that gets significant public scrutiny. I hope that the policing perspective I can bring to bear on the Council’s discussions will make a valuable contribution to the sentencing debate.”

The primary role of the Council is to promote a clear, fair and consistent approach to sentencing, primarily through its work on sentencing guidelines. Courts must follow guidelines on sentencing, although there can be judicial discretion when it is in the interests of justice to do so.

As well as consulting on, and setting, sentencing guidelines, the Council also monitors how the judiciary is implementing the guidelines. Each year the Council publishes an Annual Report. The Council meets ten times a year, which Mr Byrne will attend.