Peter Cuthbertson was quoted in yesterday's Daily Mail and today's Daily Star on the latest data showing how many crimes are committed by repeat offenders, and the overuse of cautions and other alternatives to serious punishments.
"These figures are a mix of good and bad news. The crime rate did fall slightly from last year, just like the previous nine years. But the number of serious offenders with 15 or more previous convictions rose 59% from 65,000 in 2002 to 103,000 in 2012. There were 7,500 more violent and sexual offenders.
"This suggests we could cut crime dramatically by locking up more serious, repeat offenders. They're the ones who are responsible for a fast-growing percentage of all crimes. Unfortunately the number of prison places hasn't kept pace at all with the number of serious, repeat offenders, and last year only one in four serious offences led to a prison sentence.
"It is appalling that there were 45,000 cautions for theft or burglary. There were another 14,400 cautions for violence against the person. Most worrying is how many fully suspended sentences are being handed out for serious offences - it rose from 2,075 in 2002 to 30,651 in 2012."