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Government figures show 26% proven reoffending rate

More than 180,000 convicted offenders went on to commit a combined 510,000 offences within a year, according to the first detailed official figures revealing the scale of reoffending in England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice figures show there was an average 26% proven reoffending rate for the 700,000 criminals who were convicted or cautioned in 2009. More than half of the extra offences were committed by career criminals each with more than 25 previous offences to their name.

The official reoffending figures reveal for the first time that the prison with the lowest reoffending rate for long-term inmates – 6% – was Latchmere House in Richmond, London, which was closed in September.

The prison with the highest reoffending rates for short-term prisoners was Hindley, in Wigan, at 87% in 2009. Hartlepool was named as the local authority area with the highest proven reoffending rate in the country at 36%; this figure includes convictions and cautions.

Overall, reoffending rates have fallen over the past decade. Adults serving prison sentences of less than 12 months have an average reoffending rate of 57%. This compares with 38% for those sentenced to one to four years, and 34% for those serving community punishments.

Among probation trusts, the biggest falls in reoffending rates since 2005 were in Staffordshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. The largest increases were in Hertfordshire and Merseyside.

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