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Suffolk: Reoffending rates fall as probation and police praise efforts to reform criminals

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 February 2014

Figures showing falling reoffending rates among criminals in Suffolk have been welcoming by probation and police officials.

Figures showing falling reoffending rates among criminals in Suffolk have been welcoming by probation and police officials.

Figures showing falling reoffending rates among criminals in Suffolk have been welcoming by probation and police officials.

New Government data found that between October 2012 and September 2013, the rate of reoffending among adults in the county was 10.33%.

The predicted rate of reoffending for that year was 9.77%, meaning the actual rate was almost 0.6% higher than it should have been, the annual Ministry of Justice report showed.

However, in the previous year, from October 2011 to September 2012, the actual rate of reoffending (10.86%) was 1.2% higher than the predicted rate of 9.65%.

A Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Trust (NSPT) spokesman said it meant reoffending rates were falling to expected levels in the county, arguing the data was evidence the probation supervision was reducing the risk of reoffenders going on to commit further crimes.

The reoffending rate for England and Wales in the past year was 9.19%, lower than the predicted 9.56%.

The research was based on offenders who had either served prison sentences or been dealt with in the court, such as receiving a caution.

“We are rated as a ‘good’ probation trust by the Ministry of Justice and continue to meet or exceed the targets set by government. These latest figures show a small decrease in reoffending in Suffolk which we welcome,” the NSPT spokesman said.

“It is misleading to directly compare the re-offending rates between areas of the country as there are factors impacting on the figures outside probation’s control – for example, police activity or effectiveness.

“What has been clear for some time is that offenders subject to probation supervision are far less likely to reoffend than those sentenced to short term prison sentences.

“This is testament to the excellent work done by probation staff and those in our partnership agencies.”

Detective superintendent Bernie Morgan, from Suffolk Constabulary, said a multi-agency approach had helped reduce the level of reoffending in the county.

“A variety of agencies work to try to reduce reoffending, including the prison and probation services and police in partnership with local councils and community organisations,” he said.

“The management of prolific offenders is an area of our work which we approach on a multi-agency basis, under Integrated Offender Management (IOM), to ensure that these individuals are managed appropriately and effectively.

“This can include help for those who want to turn their lives around but also incorporates a targeted approach by police to catch those who continue to commit crime.

“Sadly a small number of individuals tend to be responsible for a large amount of offences, and do return to their criminal behaviour despite the assistance offered, so we continue to focus our work on breaking the cycle of offending.”

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