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Call for suspended sentences to be abolished

Suspended sentences are repeatedly handed out to serial offenders with previous convictions, campaigners said. A Freedom of Information request from the Centre for Crime Prevention found 31% of sentences handed out were suspended.

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'488 suspended sentences' given to sex offenders

Almost 500 suspended sentences were given to sex offenders in 2012/13, a series of Freedom of Information requests has found.

In a wide-ranging investigation into the number of suspended sentences handed down to convicted criminals, the CCP found:

  • Some 7288 suspended prison sentences were handed to offenders with convictions for violent behaviour.
  • There were 110,745 cases of criminals sentenced last year despite one or more previous suspended sentences.
  • Another 215 criminals were found guilty despite already having 10 or more suspended sentences.
  • A regional sample shows Hertfordshire recorded the greatest increase in the number of criminals whose prison sentences were suspended, from 10 in 2002 to 821 in 2012.
  • Bedfordshire was second to Hertfordshire with 10 suspended sentences in 2002, rising to 346 in 2012, while Cambridgeshire was third with 20, increasing to 678.

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