Criminals in London are escaping jail sentences for serious crimes, despite dozens of previous convictions for similar offences, new figures have shown.
Those who have been convicted of rape, sexual assault and burglary offences have managed to avoid being put behind bars despite stacking up several previous offences.
Examples from the getwestlondon's exclusive figures include one criminal who, despite seven previous convictions for sexual offences and a record of 34 previous crimes, escaped jail in 2015 for committing a sexual offence.
A person convicted of taking, distributing or publishing child abuse images also managed to avoid a jail sentence, despite two previous convictions for similar offences.
Meanwhile, another criminal with 11 previous convictions for violence against the person, and a total of 35 previous convictions, walked free.
Other criminals who were let go include three offenders who took a vehicle without the owner's consent despite doing it previously, a drug dealer who had 27 previous drug convictions and a robber who went on a stealing spree several times.
The Ministry of Justice responded: "Whilst crime is falling more offenders are going to prison, and for longer.
"For the first time in ten years, an immediate prison sentence is the most common punishment handed down by the court for adults convicted of indictable offences."
They added: "The Government has taken tough action to make sure offenders are properly punished.
"It has made community orders more punitive, banned cautions for serious offences and introduced an automatic life sentence for a second very serious violent or sexual offence, among many other changes."
According to the Ministry of Justice, crime has fallen since 2010 and offenders committing the most serious offences are more likely to go to prison for longer.
"The Government wants to stop persistent offenders going through the system again and again," a spokesman said.
"That is why it has made radical changes to the way offenders are rehabilitated, so that all adult sentenced prisoners will now get at least 12 months supervision after release and providers will be paid by results in reducing re-offending."
In the above cases, the person convicted was given a non-custodial sentence for their most recent conviction in 2015, but may have been jailed for the same offence on previous convictions.