Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Murderers and rapists among 750 criminals on the run

Murderers, paedophiles and rapists are among 750 criminals on the run who should have been returned to prison, official figures have revealed.

They are convicts who committed new crimes or broke the terms of their early release but have not been found by the police.

Among them are 16 murderers, nine rapists and six paedophiles, in addition to 70 burglars, 75 robbers and more than 120 drug offenders, Ministry of Justice statistics showed. More than one in 10 is a foreign national and a handful have been on the run from police for up to 25 years.

The scandal first emerged this summer when Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced a trawl of official records revealed 954 criminals were at large.

Police forces in England and Wales launched a new search to try and track them down.

Today it was revealed they have found 317, leaving 637 still missing, including 53 foreign criminals.

But in the meantime more than 100 new offenders have been added to the total.

Some 113 criminals who had their licences revoked between April and June this year were not behind bars by the middle of last month.

Of those 33 are foreign nationals, a third of whom should have been deported at the end of their sentence.

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