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Justice secretary Robert Buckland: Most serious offenders ‘will be kept locked up for longer’

THE most serious violent and sexual offenders will have to serve at least two thirds of their sentence before being released, the justice secretary will announce today.

Robert Buckland will promise to repeal a Labour-introduced law that allowed many to be set free halfway through their terms.

‘Keeping the most dangerous violent and sexual offenders in prison for longer means they won’t be out on the streets with the opportunity to commit crime,’ he is expected to tell the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. ‘We owe it to victims to make this change.’

Mr Buckland will also pledge to improve offender rehabilitation, preventing prisons from being ‘giant academies of crime’.

Last month, the Conservatives promised to create an extra 10,000 jobs in the service, but the Prison Officers’ Association said the government had cut back 8,000 of their members since 2010.

General secretary Steve Gillan said: ‘How is this going to be funded? Are we going to have more officers, are we going to have extra resources? This government has overseen the biggest crisis in the prison service for decades.’