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.