Repeat offender concerns

MORE than a quarter of all criminals convicted in the Borders in 2010/11 went on to commit crimes the following year, the Scottish Government has revealed.

The statistics show that of the 651 offenders convicted in that 12-month period, 167 were reconvicted by the end of March 2012.

The reconviction rate of 25.7 per cent is below the national average of 28.4 per cent, but John Lamont MSP has called for more to be done, claiming the current system is ‘simply not working’.

Mr Lamont said: “We need to see these reoffending rates reduce, not only for the good of Borders communities, but also for those affected by the crimes being committed.”

“The victims deserve to know that the individual responsible is being punished for the crime they have committed, that they are being rehabilitated, and that they will not simply be allowed out to do it again within a year.”

He added: “Too often criminals do not serve their full custodial sentence thanks to automatic early release. This not only means that it does not act as a proper deterrent, it also hampers our ability to rehabilitate these offenders and convince them not to break the law in the future.”

Mr Lamont has called on the SNP to ‘reinstate faith’ in the justice system.