Thursday, 15 September 2011

Repeat offenders

Responding to the latest statistics about convictions resulting from the English city centre riots, Ken Clarke said the figures confirmed that it was existing criminals who went on the rampage. However, as Tim Harford has pointed out in passing on Radio 4's "More or Less", 80% of criminals who come before magistrates in the normal course of events are repeat offenders; the figure in relation to the riots is 75%. Therefore, there were rather more first-time offenders taking advantage of the disorder in Tottenham and elsewhere, suggesting that most of the crime was opportunist.

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