Bailed suspects commit more than 2,700 crimes

MORE than 2,700 crimes were committed in Suffolk in just 12 months by suspects already on police or court bail, it emerged today.

SUFFOLK: MORE than 2,700 crimes were committed in Suffolk in just 12 months by suspects already on police or court bail, it emerged today.

The additional offences accounted for nearly six per cent of the county's total crimes (46,504) between April 2008 and March 2009, according to police.

Among the charges was an attempted murder. There were also eight rapes - including five on females aged under 16, nine sex crimes involving boys and girls under 13, and two sex offences on children aged 15 or under.

The high-volume crimes included 242 shoplifting offences, more than 150 burglaries, and in excess of 140 drug offences.


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In addition, more than 500 alleged bail act offences were among the further 2,718 charges laid against people already on bail.

Nationally at least 30,000 offences, including at least 27 murders, were recorded against those awaiting trial or further questioning.

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John Doylend, area manager of Victim Support for Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, said the Suffolk figures were “worrying”.

He said: “The figures show just how difficult it is for judges, magistrates and police officers to make decisions about bail.

“On the face of it these numbers indicate too many people are going on to commit further crimes while on bail. That is worrying. But you would need to know more detail about the original offences before you could blame the system.

“What I would say is if there are instances where there have been repeat offences against the same victim after a person has been released on bail, then that would be of great concern.”

Defending the current system for bailing people, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "The decision on whether or not to grant a bail application is quite rightly a matter for the independent judiciary, which is best placed to weigh up all the relevant factors.

"However, it is for parliament to ensure that the framework used by the courts strikes the right balance between the rights of the individual and the need to protect the public.”

Do you think the bail system should be looked at? E-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN>

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