About half of criminals convicted of sex offences, burglary and drug dealing avoided jail
terms in England and Wales in 2012, new official figures show.
According to the statistics, released by the UK’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on Tuesday, some 49 percent of those Britons convicted of sexual assault in 2012, equivalent to 2,324 offenders, did not receive a custodial sentence.
Moreover, it was found that some 46 percent of paedophiles, who abused children aged under 13, walked free despite being convicted. The figures, which were uncovered following a parliamentary question from British Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan, also revealed that 51 percent of convicted drug dealers and 49 percent of burglars were not jailed in 2012.
Khan described the number of offenders avoiding punishment in the UK as an "insult" to victims of crime. "Some of these crimes are so serious and violent that members of the public rightly expect them to lead to a prison sentence,” he said.
The statistics come a month after the coalition government introduced a series of tougher prison sentences for violent crimes such as rape and armed robbery. However, Britain’s opposition Labour Party recently accused the Tory-led government of failing victims of rape, domestic violence and child sex abuse, citing data showing a drop in the number of cases referred for prosecution despite an increase in the number of recorded cases.
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