Police hunt for 1,000 freed inmates
Almost 1,000 released prisoners, including 30 killers and rapists, who should have been sent back to jail are at large, figures have shown.
More than a third of the 954 criminals, who have had their licences revoked either because they returned to crime or breached the conditions of their release, have been on the run for more than five years.
In all, 20 convicted murderers and nine rapists who should be behind bars were free at the end of last month, the Ministry of Justice figures showed.
Almost 119,000 prisoners have been recalled since 1984, with 954 still on the run, including 30 sex offenders and 126 violent offenders.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Over the last 10 years, in over 99% of cases where an offender has been recalled, the individual has successfully been returned to custody.
"Having a system that allows offenders to be recalled to custody if they breach their licence conditions is key to protecting the public."