London, Oct 28 (ANI): Dangerous criminals let out of prisons in the UK committed 196 serious offences, including rape and murder last year while under the supervision of police and other authorities, official figures revealed yesterday.
"These figures don't exactly give the public much confidence. If dangerous criminals are being let out on our streets, we need measures to make sure they do not commit serious crimes again. Only then will the public have full confidence in the justice system," the Daily Express quoted a Whitehall source, as saying.
The worrying figures for 2009-10 from the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (Mappa) panels is expected re-ignite concerns over the ability of the police and probation services to protect the public from released criminals.
Most of the cases were in London, amounting to 24, followed by West Yorkshire with 16 and Greater Manchester with 11. A serious case review was ordered in 14 of these cases.
Former Home Secretary David Davis said, "These figures demonstrate all too clearly how difficult it is to make judgments about monitoring dangerous criminals and to let serious criminals out of prison early."
"If dangerous criminals are being let out on our streets, we need measures to make sure they do not commit serious crimes again," he added.
Mappa panels, which include police, councils and other government agencies, were set up to manage the risks to the public from dangerous criminals after they leave prison. In all, 48,388 offenders were being watched by the authorities on March 31, up 8 per cent from the previous year.
Prisons and Probation Minister Crispin Blunt said, "The risk of further offences can never be eliminated entirely, which is why Mappa is critical in protecting the public and reducing serious re-offending."
However, Assistant General Secretary of the probation officers' union NAPO Harry Fletcher said, "The figures suggest that these people need frequent monitoring, which is highly unlikely to happen in an atmosphere of reduced budgets." (ANI)