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Murderers and rapists among hundreds on run after breaking release conditions

Published 30/07/2015

Offenders released on licence can be recalled to custody if they commit a further crime or if there is a deterioration in their behaviour
Offenders released on licence can be recalled to custody if they commit a further crime or if there is a deterioration in their behaviour

Murderers and rapists are among hundreds of criminals on licence who are still at large despite breaking their release terms, new figures show.

A total of 1,153 offenders who were recalled to custody between 1984 and March this year remained on the run at the end of June, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data reveals.

The number, which increased by 25 compared to the last count up to December, includes 147 individuals originally convicted of violence.

Of those, 20 are murderers, while s ixteen rapists are among 40 sex offenders who have not been returned to prison after breaching their licence terms.

Of those recalled 111 have been missing for six months or less, while 533 have been at large for more than five years.

The total number of criminals who have not been placed back in custody since being recalled is thought to include some who are believed to be dead or living abroad.

Between April 1999 and March 2015, more than 190,000 people released on licence have been recalled to custody for breaching their conditions.

The MoJ said just 0.6% of those have not been returned.

Offenders can be recalled to custody if they commit a further crime or if there is a deterioration in their behaviour.

Separate data showed that between October 2012 and September 2013, around 137,000 offenders committed a fresh crime within a year.

This means around one in four (26.4%) of the 518,000 individuals cautioned, convicted or released from prison re-offended.

The rate was slightly up by 0.4 percentage points compared to the previous year, but has fallen by 2.5 percentage points since 2002.

Earlier this month, Justice Secretary Michael Gove lamented as "horrifying" Britain's failure to reduce re-offending rates.

He has suggested introducing a link between a prisoner's commitment and progress in education while behind bars and their release date.

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