New figures show 40 per cent of serious offenders in Dorset are career criminals.

There are warnings that many convicted felons in Dorset can be caught in a cycle of reoffending

Author: George SharpePosted 1 hour ago
Last updated 1 hour ago

Career criminals made up two in five serious offenders convicted in Dorset last year, according to the figures – suggesting many are caught in a cycle of reoffending.

Statistics also show that less than half of those convicted with at least 15 previous convictions or warnings in their name have been sent to prison.

Labor said the “shocking” national figures showed the government was “lenient towards crime and its causes”, putting the public at risk.

In Dorset last year, in 695 of 1,742 cases (40%) where an adult admitted or was convicted of a criminal act – such as theft, violence or rape – the offender was at least 15 previous convictions or warnings, Justice Department data show.

This included 23 cases where the offender had already had 75 or more previous convictions or warnings.

The figures also showed that among the cases where offenders had had at least 15 previous convictions or warnings, 251 (36%) resulted in an immediate prison sentence.

Some 75 (11%) did not result in any sanction and 103 (15%) in a fine.

Results for 92 cases were not specified.

In England and Wales, the proportion of adult offenders convicted of a serious offense with 15 or more prior convictions or warnings last year was 36% – down from 38% in 2019, but at- above 32% in 2010.

Of those cases last year, 45% resulted in immediate jail time.

Labor said the “shocking” figures were in part a result of the government’s decision to partially privatize the probation service seven years ago – a decision reversed in June this year with the re-nationalization of the service.

Holly Lynch, Labor shadow minister for crime reduction and the courts, said: “The government is lenient with crime and its causes.

“By not reducing crime through rehabilitation in our prisons and communities, the Conservatives are putting the public at risk.”

She added that the Labor Party “would put victims first by enshrining their rights in law” and would focus on rehabilitating criminals to stop the cycle of recidivism.

In its outcome plan for 2021-2022, the Justice Department said it would end recidivism by focusing on interventions such as providing housing, employment and access to treatment. drug addiction.

He said the reunification of the probation service meant staff had the skills to run rehabilitation programs, prevent crime and strengthen the supervision of offenders outside of prison.

But groups that support rehabilitating repeat offenders say the government is still not doing enough.

Charity Unlocked, which helps those facing the stigma of a criminal record, said people also need support with physical and mental health and well-being, as well as housing and employment. .

Chief Executive Officer Angela Cairns added: “The requirement to disclose a criminal record is a barrier to accessing these things – local authorities are allowed to exclude people whose sentences have not been exhausted from housing. social security and more than half of employers admit that they would discriminate against someone with a criminal record. “

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said: “Reducing recidivism is one of our top priorities.

“This is why we are investing millions in the Beating Crime Plan to provide strong oversight, while tackling offending factors such as substance abuse, homelessness and unemployment. “

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