The Attorney-General, Robert Clark, has move a Bill that will abolish suspended sentences, a move welcomed by victims of crime advocates.

Suspended Sentences will first be abolished from the Supreme and County Courts in December 2013.

From the start of September 2014 Magistrates will also lose the power to impose suspended sentences.

‘The new laws will ensure stronger and more effective sentences that would better protect the community’ according to Mr Clark.

The State Government has already abolished suspended sentences for major crimes including murder, rape, serious sexual and violent offences, aggravated burglary, arson, recklessly causing serious injury and commercial drug trafficking.

Noel McNamara, president of the Crime Victims Support Association, said the sentencing reform was long overdue.

In 2011-2012 suspended sentences were imposed in almost 20% of cases in the Supreme and County Courts. In magistrates’ courts, there were 3763 suspended sentences, compared with 3286 jail terms and 513 community custody orders according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures,

For victims of crime support and advice call 1800 000 055 or go to www.victimsofcrime.com.au or email: support@victimsofcrime.com.au

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