HC Deb 16 July 1998 vol 316 c269W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what statistics his Department collates on re-offending rates among offenders sentenced to fines; and if he will make a statement. [50598]

Mr. Michael

Reconviction rates within two years of sentence are calculated from time to time for all court disposals relating to standard list offences (all indictable and some more serious summary offences). This is done by extracting sample criminal career information from data held on the Home Office Offenders Index. Two figures are usually produced: the actual reconviction rates; and those predicted by taking into account a range of offender characteristics (such as age, gender, criminal history and current offence). These rates are not routinely published, but estimated figures for those fined are given in the table:

Reconviction rates within two years of sentence for offenders fined for standard list offences
1987 1991 1993 1994
Reconviction rate1 30 37 47 45
Predicted rate 40 42 49 46
Number sampled 2,698 7,605 7,218 6,275
1A change in coverage slightly increased the reconviction rate for those sentenced in 1994

There are difficulties in comparing reconviction rates for 1993 and 1994 with those for earlier years, in that the sentencing structure was altered by the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (implemented on 1 October 1992). A unit fine scheme operated up until 20 September 1993. A large part of the increase in the reconviction rate between 1991 and 1993 can be accounted for by changes in predicted rates (the reconviction rate increases by 10 percentage points and the predicted rate increases by 7 percentage points).

It should be borne in mind that the figures quoted relate only to those fined for standard list offences. They do not necessarily reflect the reoffending behaviour of the many offenders who are fined for offences not on the standard list.