Several fraudsters in Warwickshire reoffend within a year

Several fraudsters in Warwickshire went on to reoffend within the space of just one year, figures reveal.

File photo dated 07/11/03 of a prison cell, as private firms are better at running prisons than the public sector and all jails should be subject to open competition, an independent think tank said today.
File photo dated 07/11/03 of a prison cell, as private firms are better at running prisons than the public sector and all jails should be subject to open competition, an independent think tank said today.

Several fraudsters in Warwickshire went on to reoffend within the space of just one year, figures reveal.

Fraud prevention group Cifas warned that the crime can be "devastating” for victims.

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Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that 36 adults were released from prison, cautioned or handed a non-custodial conviction for fraud at court between July 2019 and June 2020 in Warwickshire.

Of them, five committed at least one further crime within 12 months.

A year previously, 13 out of 60 fraudsters reoffended.

Across England and Wales, around one in five fraud offenders reoffended within a year of their release or conviction in the year to June 2020 – compared to just 13.9% in the year to June 2010, when these figures began.

This rise was the second biggest of all types of crime, behind violent offences.

The MoJ warned that some prolific criminals might appear multiple times in the figures over a year if they repeatedly reoffend, which could lead to an increase in reoffending rates.

It added there might be more volatility in the data because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the criminal justice system.

Cifas, a not-for-profit fraud prevention membership organisation, said fraud can have a "devastating impact on victims".

Amber Burridge, head of fraud intelligence for Cifas, said: "The findings from a Victims’ Commissioner report in October 2021 shows that 1 in 5 fraud victims are highly vulnerable having lost money or property and experienced severe or multiple emotional reactions such as anxiety or depression.

"Often people feel ashamed and embarrassed about being a victim to fraud and may be susceptible to further scams that claim to help you get your money back as they try to deal with it alone.

"This is not something you have to struggle with on your own."

She added that any victims of financial fraud should report it and let their bank know immediately.

Nationally, 25.8% of people reoffended in the most recent annual period – down slightly from 27.4% the year before.

People released from prison, cautioned or handed a non-custodial conviction for theft offences had the highest rates of reoffending – 47.9%.

In Warwickshire, 21.9% of all offenders broke the law again within a year – up from 20.2% the year before.

Between them, the 472 reoffenders racked up 1,753 new offences – an average of 3.7 each.

At 47.6%, reoffending rates were also highest for theft offences in the area.

A Government spokeswoman said: “Reducing reoffending is one of our top priorities which is why an extra £550 million will be invested over the next three years to rehabilitate offenders and protect the public.

“We’re also spending £400m to tackle economic crime and developing a new strategy to clampdown on the devastating impact fraud can have on victims.”