You can now get 10 years imprisonment for defacing a statue but only five for rape

The Tory government put more focus on punishments for attacking a statue than attacking a woman

The new Conservative government’s crime bill calls for a 10 year sentence for defacing statues. The previous sentence was three months but this is being increased in order to recognise the “emotional or symbolic value of war memorials” according to Kit Malthouse, the policing minister.

However, sentences for crimes of sexual assault against women remain as low as five years. In fact, the new bill mentions the word ‘memorial’ eight times, but doesn’t include the word ‘women’ once.

Calls for more laws to protect women against violence have become a focus after the case of Sarah Everard who was allegedly murdered by a police officer. However, this bill focusses on introducing stronger sentences for defacing a statue, putting it higher than drink-driving, theft and carrying a knife.

Rape prosecutions are at an all time low, kerb-crawling of schoolgirls is still not illegal and a woman is killed every three days. These facts reported on GMB last week highlight the need for a focus on protecting women. The Conservative government have instead introduced a longer sentence for attacking a statue than attacking a woman.

Crimes that carry a prison sentence of ten years and under:

• Violence against children – ten years maximum

• Tax evasion – seven years maximum

• Perjury – seven years maximum

• Theft – seven years maximum

• Sexual assault – five years minimum, ten years maximum

• Possession of indecent photographs of children – five years maximum

• Carrying a firearm in a public place – five years maximum

• Actual bodily harm (ABH) – five years maximum

• Carrying a knife – four years maximum

• Attack on a frontline worker – one year maximum (a petition to double this sentence was rejected)

• Kidnapping – one year to 12 years

• Harassment – six months maximum (racially or religiously provoked max sentence becomes two years)

• Stalking – six months maximum (racially or religiously provoked max sentence becomes two years)

• Drink-driving – six months maximum

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Plain-clothes officers in bars and clubs will do nothing to make women feel safer

• Protesters gather for the third consecutive day of vigils at Parliament Square

• Explained: What is the new protest ‘Police Crackdown Bill’ and how do I stop it?

Patsy Stevenson, student arrested at Sarah Everard vigil, says she was ‘terrified’