In June 2006, the then Attorney-General asked the Council to advise on the maximum penalty for the five preparatory offences.
These offences are:
- being armed with criminal intent
- loitering with intent to commit an indictable offence
- being disguised with unlawful intent
- possessing house-breaking implements
- going equipped to steal.
The Council considered whether there was merit in creating a higher maximum penalty specifically for repeat offenders or in increasing the maximum penalty more generally for these offences to enable sentencers to impose a higher penalty in the case of repeat offenders.
The Council concluded that the present maximum penalties for preparatory offences adequately serve their intended functions, providing both sufficient scope for sentencing courts to accommodate the worst types of cases and an accurate guide about where these offences fall in the hierarchy of offending seriousness.
The Council recommended against increasing the maximum penalty generally and against creating a higher maximum penalty specifically for repeat offenders charged with the existing preparatory offences.
The Review of Maximum Penalties for Preparatory Offences Report was released on 31 January 2007.
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