IN brief: MP reaffirms Labour sentencing pledges

Geoffrey Hoon MP, Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, has reaffirmed the Government's pledge to halve the time taken between arresting and sentencing persistent young offenders. At present, the average delay stands at more than four months. Addressing a meeting of the Magistrates Courts Consultative Council in London last week, Hoon also promised to deliver on pledges to replace widespread repeat cautions with a single final warning and to bring together local Youth Offender Teams in to streamline the system of youth courts.