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Nearly half of those held over riots arrested again in past year, figures show - August-04-12
Source: The Telegraph (Telegraph Staff)
As the anniversary of the violence and looting approaches, the data reveals that 44% of riot suspects have been arrested on suspicion of committing further offences in the last 12 months.
More than half of suspects who were locked up over the disorder have since been freed while thousands more who took part evaded justice.
The statistics, released under the Freedom of Information Act, showed police in Nottingham made 143 arrests following last August's disorder, of whom 86 were charged, according to a newspaper.
But in the last year, 72 of those suspects - half the total arrested - were held again for crimes including rape, arson, robbery, threats to kill and breaching bail or parole conditions, and some even arrested for multiple crimes.
In Bristol, the figures showed that 28 of the 53 held over the riots had faced further police action.
Their subsequent alleged crimes included 20 thefts and robberies, two rapes, nine assaults, 16 drugs offences and 14 of skipping bail, going on the run or failing to comply wiith community orders, Avon and Somerset Police said.
Gloucestershire Police made 40 arrests and prosecuted 19 offenders. Since then, one in six of those held are alleged to have subsequently carried out offences such as robberies, burgaries, grievous bodily harm, criminal damage and public order offences.
In Cheshire, 110 of the 250 held over the riots have been arrested again.
The true number across the country could be even higher, with some of the largest forces including the Metropolitan Police unable to calculate the proportion of reoffending due to the sheer number of cases it had to deal with, the Daily Mail reported.
Dr David Green, of the think-tank Civitas, told the newspaper: "This is a reminder that in this country we do not punish our career criminals properly.
"They are allowed to go in and out of jail and this just reaffirms that we are continuing the same bad practice. If you punish them lightly you will get more crime."
Figures show that as of last month 1,968 people have been sentenced for their part in the riots, with 1,292 jailed. But some 700 have already been released. Some 676 received community punishments, suspended sentences, fines, or discharges.
A Minstry of Justice spokesman said: "Nearly 1,300 people were sentenced to immediate custody with an average prison term of more than 16 months each and a high number receiving far longer sentences.
"If people go on to commit further offences their previous crimes will be taken into account, and they could find themselves facing even longer prison sentences."
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