ALMOST one in five convicted criminals reoffend in Hartlepool – the worst rate in the North-East and far above the national average.
And the figure is on the rise as the town had a 7.79 per cent jump in those who go through the courts only to commit another crime within three months.
It compares particularly badly to neighbouring areas that have all seen a drop.
Stockton has seen a 11.13 per cent fall and Durham has a 2.71 per cent reduction, while Middlesbrough (down 1.79 per cent) and Redcar and Cleveland (down 4.37 per cent) have also had successes.
The figures are in comparison to three years ago when the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) first began collecting “snapshot” statistics for each local probation service.
The percentages measure the proportion of criminals who reoffend within three months in each area and are based on samples of around 2,000 to 3,000 people.
In Hartlepool 19.38 per cent of offenders reoffended in the latest sample, 13.13 per cent did so in Stockton and 12.25 per cent in Durham.
Nationally the figure stands at 9.77 per cent with a 1.47 per cent fall in reoffending since 2007-8.
A spokesman for the MoJ said: “The Government is not complacent and through a revolution in rehabilitation we will help offenders get off drugs, move into work, and manage mental illness.
“This will see fewer victims and less offenders slipping back into lives of crime.”