Criminals convicted of stalking, harassment, child sexual abuse and other sex offences could see their sentences increased if victims or the public think their punishment is too lenient.

Under plans confirmed by ministers yesterday September 1), the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme will be extended to 14 new offences – giving victims the power to challenge the sentences of a wider range of crimes.

The move will bring offences including controlling and coercive behaviour, as well as further child sexual abuse offences, within the remit of the project.

Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland, said: “We are determined that those found guilty of heinous crimes such as child sex offences receive the sentences their actions warrant.

“Sentences are decided by our independent judiciary based on the facts before them, but it is absolutely right that victims have a voice in the system when punishments don’t appear to fit the crime.”