You can have your say on the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell launches an online survey of her constituents.
Ms Ansell asked for views about five major aspects of the bill on her Facebook page last week and the survey will build on that work.
She said that feedback will be used by her during the passage of the bill through parliament, particularly in debates and in her conversations with ministers, as the legislation is scrutinised and refined.
The wide-ranging bill proposes to increase jail terms for people who attack emergency workers, tougher sentences, including Whole Life Orders for premeditated murder of a child and the end of automatic release halfway through sentence of serious violent and sexual offenders.
Other plans include strengthening of police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments and changes to limit disruptive or noisy protest.
“This bill is very important and I want to know what our communities think of it so I can speak to ministers and debate it as it works its way through both houses of parliament,” says the MP.
“What it proposes is very real for many people in Eastbourne. Last year we had an incident in Gildredge Park where police officers were attacked. The bill proposes life imprisonment for people who commit death by dangerous driving and we had just such a tragic incident in 2016. An illegal traveller encampment was set up in Prince’s Park last year.
“There are areas around the protest clauses in the bill that some people are opposed to. But, equally, many people are supportive of this proposed legislation in general. They want to see tougher sentences and punishments that better fit the crime.
“I am supportive of this important bill, but that’s exactly what it is at the moment, a bill. It is not law. I do not believe it will stop peaceful protest and I think there is a balance to be struck between protest and allowing people to go about their business. But I also have concerns around the practicalities and some definitions within it around annoyance and disruption and noise in regards to protests.
“Please get involved and take part in the survey, so I can have a really full picture of what Eastbourne and Willingdon thinks,” Ms Ansell asks constituents.
The seven-question survey can be accessed at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/56HZHH6