Prolific burglars are being let off jail if they agree to four months rehabilitation under a “deferred prosecution” scheme.
West Midlands Police is pioneering an approach where repeat burglars responsible for an average of 30 offences apiece, have deferred their jail sentences of up to seven years.
Their prison term is suspended for four months during which they are electronically tagged as long as they agree to sign a behaviour and rehabilitation contract which can include drug or alcohol treatment, education and training.
Those who stick to the deal escape jail sentences and are allowed onto community orders after four months. Those who fail by reoffending are taken back before the courts and have their prison sentences reinstated.
Nine burglars responsible for 300 offences have already been through scheme with the backing of their victims and agreement of their trial judges. Two have reoffended and are back in jail, one for a seven-year term, while seven have. The force has also seen a 16 per cent reduction on burglary.
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