Criminals in London are escaping jail sentences for serious crimes, despite dozens of previous convictions for similar offences.
A burglar in London was not given a custodial sentence at a court appearance in June 2014, despite 33 previous burglary offences and 58 total previous convictions, making them the most prolific burglar in the region to avoid jail for an offence last year.
Another criminal who avoided jail for drug offences last year had 26 previous drug convictions, as part of a total 37 previous convictions, according to figures released following a Freedom of Information Act request to the Ministry of Justice.
The fourth lane of the M6 was shut to Midlands motorists on more than 70 days last year because of technology faults, it has emerged.
The extra lane opens up at busy times to ease congestion between junctions eight at West Bromwich and 10a at Essington.
But from January 1 to December 31 there were 74 days where it was out of action, ranging from up to nine hours to less than a minute.
The figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show there were 141 technology faults reported, with the most being in May.
The number of community service orders dished out by courts in Edinburgh has doubled in the last two years, with crooks carrying out almost 84,000 hours of unpaid work last year alone – the equivalent of nine and a half years.
But official figures revealed almost half of all payback orders – handed out as an alternative to prison – are never completed, landing many offenders back in court if they fail to explain themselves.
Edinburgh City Council has spent more than £7 million in the last three years carrying out and supervising the orders, but a spokeswoman today insisted the majority of the cost – which is pumped into staffing and tools – would be covered by a government justice grant.