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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 26882, tabled on 9 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people following a breach of licence conditions (a) returned and (b) did not return to prison following that breach in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Answered on

16 March 2020

Public protection is our priority. Offenders on licence are subject to strict licence conditions and supervision. When an offender breaches a condition of their licence, their probation officer will undertake a thorough risk assessment to determine whether it is necessary, for the protection of the public, to recall that offender to prison. Not all licence breaches result in recall, and we do not centrally hold data on the number of licence breaches which did not lead to recall.

Once officials on behalf of the Secretary of State for Justice have revoked an offender’s licence, it is for the Police to find, apprehend and return the offender to custod. If an offender is not returned to prison custody, s/he is deemed to be ‘unlawfully at large’. The table below sets out the most recent published data:

Year of Recall

Number of Recalls

Number unlawfully at large as at 31 December 2019

Number not unlawfully at large as at 31 December 2019













Over 99% of offenders recalled are returned to prison and these figures will include those who have died or been deported, as the National Probation Service does not automatically get notified of this.