Saturday, 23 February 2013

Commentary on the latest offending histories statistics

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.

Cuthbertson said:
"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."

Media coverage for Revolving Door Community Sentencing report

This week's Centre for Crime Prevention report into the failure of Community Sentences was covered by the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sun, the Huffington Post, the BBC and ITV and a number of local newspapers.

Peter Cuthbertson

Peter Cuthbertson of the Centre for Crime Prevention appeared on ITV's Daybreak programme, debating Juliet Lyon from the Prison Reform Trust, Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire show, and nine local BBC radio programmes.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

New report reveals the failure of revolving door community sentencing

Research from the Centre for Crime Prevention reveals that the current revolving door system of community sentences is failing to protect the public, and is producing higher reoffending rates than all but the shortest prison sentences.

Data from Freedom of Information requests reveals that almost 8,000 criminals sent to prison in 2011/12 had previously been given 11 or more community sentences - and 407 were given 21 or more. More than three quarters of those sent to prison had previously been given at least one community sentence, and more than half of all offenders had previously been given at least one community sentence.


The key findings of the report are:

§  81,594 (76%) of the 107,688 criminals sent to prison in 2011/12 had previously been given at least one community sentence before later committing the offences that resulted in a prison term. Of these offenders:
·         68,485 (64%) were given 2 or more community sentences;
·         37,516 (35%) were given 5 or more;
·         7,783 were given 11 or more;
·         1,784 were given 16 or more; and
·         407 were given 21 or more community sentences
§  221,405 (54%) of the 407,838 criminals convicted of a criminal offence in 2011/12 had previously been given at least one community sentence
·         120,546 (30%) were given 3 or more;
·         91,321 (22%) were given 4 or more; and
·         51,830 (13%) were given 6 or more community sentences
§  Those sentenced to lengthier prison sentences tend to be the most hardened criminals. Even so, the longer the prison sentence, the lower the reconviction rate – with all but the shortest prison sentences having lower reoffending rates than community sentences. The one year reoffending rate is:
·         35.6% for all adults given a community sentence – resulting in 123,675 offences
·         64.1% for adults on a community sentence who were given Supervision and Drug Rehabilitation - resulting in 16,644 offences
·         30.7% for adults sentenced to between 4 to 10 years in prison (ie serving at least two to five years) – with the prisoner of course unable to commit any offences outside prison while held inside
·         15.0% for adults sentenced to more than 10 years (ie serving at least five years) – with prisoners committing no offences outside prison while they remain inside
·         4.7% for adults serving indeterminate and life sentences – with prisoners committing no offences outside prison while they remain inside
§  90,029 community sentences were given to criminals guilty of more serious indictable offences – and fewer than 1 in 8 (12.4%) of those were for a first offence
·         66.4% went to those with 3 or more previous convictions
·         31.0% went to those with 11 or more previous convictions
·         23.2% went to those with 15 or more previous convictions
§  The areas of England and Wales with the highest one year reconviction rates by adults given community sentences or a suspended sentence are:

1
Durham Tees Valley
44.1%
2
Northumbria
43.2%
3
Lancashire
39.0%
4
York and North Yorkshire
37.8%
5
West Mercia
37.2%
6
Nottinghamshire
36.9%
7
Cumbria
36.7%
8
Wales
36.1%
9
Hampshire
35.6%
10
Norfolk and Suffolk
35.6%

§  The areas with the greatest number of reoffences by adults given community sentences or a suspended sentence are:

1
London
18,097 reoffences
2
Wales
11,592
3
Greater Manchester
10,732
4
Staffordshire and West Midlands
9,454
5
West Yorkshire
8,277
6
Northumbria
7,957
7
Durham Tees Valley
7,494
8
Lancashire
6,416
9
Hampshire
5,541
10
Surrey and Sussex
5,228

Monday, 11 February 2013

Centre for Crime Prevention commentary on foreign rioters

Peter Cuthbertson from the Centre for Crime Prevention responded to today's front page Daily Mail story that only 15 out of over 200 foreign rioters have yet been deported since August 2011.

Peter Cuthbertson on rioters

Peter also did a segment on LBC's Nick Ferrari show this morning, discussing the lax treatment of foreign rioters.

Monday, 4 February 2013

CCP Mirror article on Justice Secretary's comments on smacking

In today's Daily Mirror, Peter Cuthbertson from the Centre for Crime Prevention argues against the NSPCC over smacking children. In a newspaper interview, Chris Grayling said he had smacked his children when they were younger, and defended the practice.

Peter Cuthbertson on Chris Grayling

Friday, 1 February 2013

Reoffending statistics confirm need for tougher sentencing

In response to the latest data on reoffending by criminals, Peter Cuthbertson of the Centre for Crime Prevention told the Daily Express:
Tough sentences don’t just protect the public while the prisoner is inside.
These figures show that prison terms above four years also have much lower reoffending rates than community sentences. We need to increase prison terms.
Because of parole, a four year prison sentence usually means only two years served, rightly or wrongly.