Over two dozen Leeds fraudsters reoffended within a year of being released from prison

Almost two dozen fraudsters in Leeds went on to reoffend within the space of just one year, figures reveal.

By Alex Grant
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:45 am

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 124 adults were released from prison, cautioned or handed a non-custodial conviction for fraud at court between July 2019 and June 2020 in Leeds.

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

Of them, 23 (18.5 per cent) committed at least one further crime within 12 months.

A year previously, 28 out of 136 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 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 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 Leeds, 28.9 per cent of all offenders broke the law again within a year – which was in line with the year before.

Between them, the 1,453 reoffenders racked up 5,809 new offences – an average of 4 each.

At 48.5 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.”