Figures Show Crimes Committed On Bail Have Doubled In Past Five Years
Department of Corrections figures obtained through the Official Information Act is showing concerning trends. This includes a doubling of the number of crimes committed on electronically monitored bail since 2015, says Darroch Ball co-leader of Sensible Sentencing Trust.
“What is most concerning is that around forty percent of those crimes involved weapons, violence, or drugs. This is clearly showing the courts are putting more and more dangerous offenders on electronic bail instead of in prison where they should be."
“The numbers being put on electronic bail has skyrocketed from 751 in 2014/15 to 2,477 in 2019/20 – a more than three-fold increase. This clearly shows electronic bail is being used more and more in place of prison as the remand option for violent and dangerous criminals."
“This may reduce the prison number, but it is clearly putting our communities at risk."
“Concerningly, we have also seen an increase in the number of people charged with murder or other violent or sexual crimes been given electronic bail – with 556 in 2017 ballooning to a massive 1,026 in 2019."
“The latest available stats also show a quarter of all offenders are now cutting off their bracelets or otherwise absconding, with numbers jumping in just one year from 191 in 2017/18 to 491 abscondments in 2018/19."
“Politically convenient statistics can show a ‘reduction in remand and prison numbers’, but serious offenders who should be in prison are being released on bail, our communities are demonstrably being put at risk."
“We need to stop chasing some ideologically driven reduction in prison numbers and start focussing on the safety of the public," says Mr Ball.
“Clearly these numbers show the government has got their priorities wrong.”