Thousands reoffend while on probation but rates are declining

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Thousands of offenders who are being supervised by the probation service commit further crimes within 3 months. But the rate of reoffending by those on probation is going down in London. The city has the second lowest rate of reoffending in England and Wales for offenders who are being monitored by the Probation Service.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice show that during 2013 the Probation Service across London had a caseload of 92,607. These were offenders under supervision orders – either issued by a court or following their release from prison on license. Out of this caseload, 8.1% reoffended.

At regional level London has the second lowest reoffending rate in England and Wales. Only the West Midlands is lower.

Reoffending regional chart-2

London has had reoffending rates consistently lower than predicted since 2010.

Within London, Hammersmith and Fulham has the worst record with 12.9% committing a further offence while under probation supervision. Kingston, Kensington and Chelsea and Tower Hamlets have rates approaching 10%.

Southwark, Greenwich and Bromley had much better results during 2013. The reoffending rate in Bromley was below 7% while Southwark and Greenwich have rates that have been consistently lower than predicted.

Reoffending map

While these figures indicate some success for the Probation Service they do not show the full picture on reoffending. The data does not include youth crime or offenders over 22 who have been released from a custodial sentence of less than a year, as they do not receive probation supervision.

The broader data on reoffending from the Ministry of Justice shows that the rate for all adult and juveniles, not just those under probation supervision, was 26.5% in England and Wales in 2013, and this rate has been fairly stable since 2003.

The age group with the highest rate of reoffending is those under 14 where 38% commit a further offence within 12 months. People convicted of theft are most likely to reoffend – 43% commit a further crime with 12 months.

Source data

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