Victims include young children assaulted by paedophiles, figures released by the Government show.
They reveal that every year more than 18,000 convicts given a community punishment commit a sexual or violent crime within 12 months of being sentenced.
Had they been sent to jail, the offences – which could range from rape to common assault – need never have taken place.
The revelation, in response to a Parliamentary question by Tory MP Priti Patel, will cast further doubt on the effectiveness of community sentences, which Justice Secretary Ken Clarke wants the courts to use more.
It came as separate figures showed that more than 43,000 criminals given community sentences broke them in the year to July 2011. A total of 43,521 had to be tracked down and sentenced again. Read More