Thousands of repeat offenders keep appearing in court

Thousands of criminals are coming before the courts with more than 10 previous convictions, figures have shown. Some 166,529 cases in England and Wales involved criminals who had been punished more than 10 times before.

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In numbers: Repeat offenders keep appearing in court

Figures released by the Ministry of Justice in response to a freedom of information request have shown that last year over 166,000 cases in England and Wales involved criminals with over 10 previous convictions.

  • In the 12 months to September 2013, 166,529 cases in England and Wales involved offenders who had been punished more than 10 times before.
  • Some 68,453 offenders with between six and 10 previous convictions were convicted again.
  • In the same period, 104,265 with between two and five convictions were convicted again.
  • A total of 51,578 had one previous conviction, while 112,532 had none.

The Ministry of Justice revealed figures last month which showed that in 2013 just over 103,000 offenders convicted of indictable crimes had 15 or more previous convictions.

That is the equivalent to 36% of all convicted offenders, which is up from 22% in 2003.

Repeat offender data shows 'something is not working'

Ministry of Justice figures, which show thousands of repeat offenders keep ending up in court, shows the justice system "is clearly not working", a member of the Greater London Authority Conservatives who requested the data said.

It is shocking to see our justice system periodically churning out the same crooks with yet another conviction under their belt. Something is clearly not working.

Prisons cost more than boarding schools and yet they appear to be seasonal all-paid-for retreats for certain individuals. This is a gigantic burden on our courts. We need to give first-time offenders an initial 'sharp shock' - harsher penalties, training and effective rehabilitation - to scare them out of a life of criminality.

If they have a drug problem, get them on a programme. If they lack vocational skills, train them up.

There may be short term costs, but long term gains for society. We will save the public purse huge amounts of cash if offenders learn their lesson the first time and ditch crime for good.

– Tony Arbour, a member of the Greater London Authority Conservatives

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Thousands of repeat offenders keep appearing in court

Thousands of criminals with more than 10 previous convictions keep appearing in court, figures have shown.

File photo of a prison cell. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

In response to a freedom of information request, the Ministry of Justice figures showed that in the year to September 2013, 166,529 cases in England and Wales involved offenders who had been punished more than 10 times before.

That compares to 172,063 such cases in the previous year.

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