ALMOST a dozen repeat knife offenders in Cumbria were spared an immediate jail sentence last year, new figures show.

Nearly four in 10 offenders across England and Wales who were caught with a knife or offensive weapon for at least the second time were not sent to jail.

Ministry of Justice figures show 31 repeat knife offenders aged over 18 in Cumbria went through the criminal justice system in the year ending September 2023 - all of them were found in possession of a knife.

Of those, 11 avoided immediate custody and were only cautioned or given a community or a suspended sentence instead. Police force level figures could include both previous possession and threatening offences.

Nationally, 4,127 adults were found guilty of a repeat possession offence. Of them, 62% were sent to jail immediately – a significant fall from 71% in 2018, three years after a new policy on repeat offenders was launched.