Suffolk: Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore vows to tackle reoffending rates

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has renewed his pledge to tackle repeat offenders after new figures showed the county’s reoffending rate is falling much slower than the national picture.

New government data showed Suffolk had an adult reoffending rate of 10.54% in 2012/13, marginally lower than 10.55% in the previous year. It was a drop from 5,688 reoffenders in the county to 5,608.

Nationally the average rate fell from 9.71% to 9.33%.

When comparing the 173 local authorities included in the Ministry of Justice research, Suffolk came 40th worst last year, a drop from 54th.

The fresh analysis comes after it was revealed in April that seven of the county’s top 10 offenders – who committed 623 crimes between them in 2011 and 2012 – are free to walk the streets.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s PCC, branded the repeat offenders “menaces to society” following the disclosure.

And last night he promised to lower the current level of reoffending closer to national levels.

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“Reducing offending and reoffending is a central part of my police and crime plan; the blueprint for policing in the county,” he said. A disproportionate number of offences are committed by repeat offenders and this is something that I am committed to work with partners to improve.

“The Integrated Offender Management programme involves agencies working together to ensure that offenders whose crimes cause the most damage and harm locally are managed in a coordinated way.

“Although relatively new, this initiative is delivering promising outcomes and I will continue to work with partners to ensure we build on this.”

The data was based on offenders aged over 18 under probation, including offenders who have been under supervision in the community – either on licence after release from custody or on a court order.

However it did not include offenders aged 22 or over who have been released from a custodial sentence of less than one year.

In Essex, the reoffending rate fell to 8.45% in the last year, a drop from 9.42%. The number of repeat offenders fell from 12,818 to 11,617.

Essex’s PCC Nick Alston said: “Colleagues work together in a top-level approach and partnership across Essex in tackling reoffending and I am delighted with the statistical variation from the national figures.

“Our focus is on victims, and rightly so, but getting reoffending rates down, which was a key part of my police and crime plan, has a huge economical impact which is to be welcomed as well.”

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said reoffending has been “too high for too long” and called for urgent reform. He said: “Our new approach will ensure that for the first time all prison leavers spend at least 12 months working towards their rehabilitation in the community.”