Concern over number of Sheffield fraudsters reoffending in space of a year

More than a dozen fraudsters in Sheffield went on to reoffend within the space of just one year, new figures reveal.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 12:03 pm

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that 73 adults were released from prison, cautioned or handed a non-custodial conviction for fraud at court between July 2019 and June 2020 in Sheffield.

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Of them, 19 committed at least one further crime within 12 months.

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More than a dozen fraudsters in Sheffield went on to reoffend within the space of just one year, new figures reveal.

A year previously, 16 out of 80 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 per cent 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 one in five 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.”

Nationally, 25.8 per cent of people reoffended in the most recent annual period – down slightly from 27.4 per cent 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 per cent.

In Sheffield, 27.2 per cent of all offenders broke the law again within a year – down from 27.4 per cent the year before.

Between them, the 815 reoffenders racked up 3,230 new offences – an average of four each.

At 52.1 per cent, 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.”