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Commission in UK proposes different approach to problem gambling-related crimes

The Commission, which was set up by the Howard League for Penal Reform and chaired by Lord Goldsmith QC, claims there is a “worrying lack of knowledge” within the criminal justice system in regards to how problem gambling can lead to crime.

diffapproach

The report also included the findings from new research with sentencers, which demonstrates that crimes related to gambling are not being dealt with in an appropriate way (although problem gambling is recognised as a mental health disorder).

The Commission is the UK’s first inquiry to focus precisely on the connections between problem gambling and crime.

In the study, commissioners heard evidence from a wide range of witnesses including regulators, gambling companies, police, prison and probation workers, academics, and personal testimony from people whose lives have been affected by crime linked to problem gambling.

The briefing included a list of improvements that can be made, such as training and raising awareness among practitioners, assessing individuals in the criminal justice system for problem gambling behaviours linked to their offerings, identifying the availability of specialised services locally and guiding people to those services.

The Commission concluded with the recommendation that the Sentencing Council should consider what improvements can be made to sentencing guidelines, to ensure the courts properly deal with problem gambling.

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