Revised burglary offences sentencing guidelines published

The Sentencing Council has published revised sentencing guidelines for domesticnon-domestic and aggravated offences in England and Wales, following consultation. The guidelines will come into effect on 1 July 2022.

The revised guidelines introduce new middle categories for both culpability and harm factors, to allow judges and magistrates greater flexibility in deciding on an appropriate sentence.  The Council has also updated the format of the guidelines to reflect the stepped approach used in recent sentencing guidelines.

The sentencing guidelines apply to:

  • domestic burglary (section 9, Theft Act 1968)
  • non-domestic burglary, (section 9, Theft Act 1968)
  • aggravated burglary (section 10, Theft Act 1968)

The existing burglary guidelines were the second set of guidelines developed by the Sentencing Council and came into force in 2012. Evaluations of these guidelines in 2016 and 2017 appeared to show that, overall, the guidelines had to some extent contributed to unanticipated increases seen in sentencing severity for non-domestic and aggravated burglary offences (although due to low volumes for aggravated burglary this conclusion is less explicit).

The Council has considered the evidence available for the increases in sentence severity and is satisfied that sentencing practice is proportionate to the seriousness of the offences that appeared before the courts. The revised guideline is, therefore, not intended to change sentences from their current levels.