Hard-core of repeat offenders commit quarter of a million crimes a year
PUBLISHED October 25, 2012
The Government condemned Britain's "shamefully high" rates of re-offending, after it emerged one out of every two prisoners has turned back to crime within a year.
Almost half a million crimes a year are committed by people who have been released from jail, convicted or cautioned within the previous year12 months.
Around 50,000 were committed by criminals who had previously been jailed at least 11 times, within the 275,000 by those who have at least 11 convictions. More than 3,000 of these new crimes were serious violent or sexual offences.
The Ministry of Justice released the figures, just days after David Cameron promised a "rehab revolution" to make sure all prisoners are given help to leave behind their lives of crime.
Private companies, charities and voluntary organisations will be paid if they stop criminals reoffending under plans to target short as well as longer term offenders.
The overall re-offending rate rose slightly to 26.7 per cent in 2010 and increased even more for those leaving jail from 46.8 per cent to 47.5 per cent.
For those sent to jail for short sentences of less than a year, it jumped from 56.8 per cent to 57.8 per cent.
A MoJ spokeswoman said: "We are tackling the shamefully high reoffending rates in this country by introducing a rehabilitation revolution - offenders must be punished, but we must also deal with the root causes of offenders' behaviour so they don't return to crime."
The Prime Minister said earlier this week that all but a small number of high-risk prisoners would receive help to turn their lives around and break the cycle of reoffending by the end of 2015.
Prison would also be a punishment and places of "meaningful, hard work where offenders are given the right mix of skills and support to help them find a job on release", the MoJ spokeswoman said.
The new crime figures also showed more than 1,000 convicted criminals are on the run after being re-called to jail, including 16 murderers and four paedophiles.
They also revealed a record 40,000 sex offenders were on the register in the last year - an increase of a third since 2006.
Officials said sex offenders are being forced to sign the register for longer and there has been a rise in convictions.