More than 1,200 crimes have been committed by the top 50 worst offenders in Hyndburn, the Observer can reveal.
The most habitual criminal is a 36-year-old man from Accrington who has committed 51 crimes – including 36 shoplifting offences – and has been charged 51 times.
Campaigners have branded the figures ‘appalling’ and said the system of justice is ‘not working’, calling on the courts to impose harsher sentences for repeat offenders.
Figures released by Lancashire Police under a freedom of information request shows how 1,202 offences have been committed in Hyndburn by the top 50 offenders.
The most prolific 10 criminals have committed 348 of those with the most popular crime being theft from a vehicle.
A 26-year-old man from Oswaldtwistle has been charged seven times for 43 offences including 24 thefts from a vehicle. A 35-year-old man from Accrington has committed 29 offences including 13 non-house burglaries and has been charged 18 times.
Peter Cuthbertson, director of the Centre for Crime Prevention campaign group, said longer prison sentences need to be imposed to deter repeat offenders. He said: “It is particularly sobering to think that these are just the crimes where they happened to get caught.
“Longer sentences protect the public for their duration and have a much lower re-offending rate.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “The Constabulary has initiated an approach encompassing, prosecution, prevention, disruption, and diversion. This continues to lead to significant numbers of criminals being arrested and facing trial.”