The West Midlands’ most prolific offender has a staggering 338 convictions on their record, we can reveal. You’ve probably heard the term career criminal but this group of crooks have taken it to the extreme.
They’re so familiar with cops and magistrates they’re probably on first name terms – that’s how often they’ve been in and out of the nick over the years. The region’s top 10 most prolific criminals have amassed a whopping 2,539 convictions between them, showing how much of a drain on resources they’ve been as they committed crime after crime and never learned their lesson.
To put this level of offending into perspective, if those 2,539 crimes were carried out on separate days it would work out to seven years of continuous offending.
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The shocking figures can be revealed following a Freedom of Information request by Birmingham Live to the Ministry of Justice, which provided a breakdown of offenses committed by the most prolific criminals. They mostly fall into the category of petty crook, the type who could have a loyalty card at the local magistrates’ court because of how often they attend.
They include shoplifters, thugs and public nuisances who have been arrested by West Midlands Police time and again. The rap sheet for the most prolific offender, with 338 convictions, includes 52 for theft; 48 public order offenses, which can include being drunk and disorderly, using threats or intimidation; and 166 ‘summary offenses excluding motoring’, which can include minor assaults or criminal damage.
There were also convictions for violence against the person, sexual offenses, criminal damage and arson, drug offenses, possession of weapons, fraud and ‘miscellaneous crimes against society’.
Further details, such as whether the criminal is a man or a woman and their age were not provided. The most recent figures available went up to the end of 2020, meaning that rap sheet could have grown even longer since then.
Next on the list was an offender with 280 convictions, including 178 thefts, and two criminals with 243 convictions each on their record. The data showed the most common offenses were generally theft and summary offenses.
Though these petty criminals will be hauled in front of magistrates, most of the time they will avoid going to jail because of the minor nature of the offenses, unless there is something that warrants a more severe sentence or a magistrate chooses to punish repeat offending.
It means police officers continue to have to spend time arresting these offenders when their time could be better spent elsewhere. In 2020, we reported how a prolific offender with a history of shoplifting convictions was finally rumbled by cops after evading capture three times by hiding inside modified drawers.