13,000 on run from justice
THOUSANDS of convicts and suspected criminals including killers and rapists are on the run after skipping bail, it has been revealed.
Police forces in England have admitted 13,492 arrest warrants exist for those who have failed to answer bail stretching back to 1980.
They include a man suspected of beating and raping an 18-year-old girl in the street in 2005 and a paedophile who was jailed in his absence for trying to rape a girl under 13, inciting child prostitution and making indecent images.
West Yorkshire Police hold the oldest warrant – for a man suspected of attacking an officer 36 years ago.
Last night, campaigners said faith in the system could be eroded if action is not taken. David Padgett, of Victim Support, said people fear offenders “might come back and do it again, or it could happen to someone else”. He added: “They get frustrated they haven’t had justice. This can play on how people recover.”
Nine of the 39 forces did not respond to a Freedom of Information request.
Justice monitor Deputy Chief Constable Gary Knighton said police prioritise warrants according to risk.