SEVERAL fraudsters in Worcestershire went on to reoffend within the space of just one year, figures reveal.

Fraud prevention group Cifas warned that the crime can be "devastating” for victims.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that 50 adults were released from prison, cautioned or handed a non-custodial conviction for fraud at court between July 2019 and June 2020 in Worcestershire.

Of them, nine committed at least one further crime within 12 months.

A year previously, 13 out of 48 fraudsters reoffended.

Across England and Wales, around one in five fraud offenders reoffended within a year of their release or conviction in the year to June 2020 – compared to just 13.9% in the year to June 2010, when these figures began.

This rise was the second biggest of all types of crime, behind violent offences.

The MoJ warned that some prolific criminals might appear multiple times in the figures over a year if they repeatedly reoffend, which could lead to an increase in reoffending rates.

It added there might be more volatility in the data because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the criminal justice system.

Cifas, a not-for-profit fraud prevention membership organisation, said fraud can have a "devastating impact on victims".

Amber Burridge, head of fraud intelligence for Cifas, said: "The findings from a Victims’ Commissioner report in October 2021 shows that 1 in 5 fraud victims are highly vulnerable having lost money or property and experienced severe or multiple emotional reactions such as anxiety or depression."

Nationally, 25.8% of people reoffended in the most recent annual period – down slightly from 27.4% the year before.

People released from prison, cautioned or handed a non-custodial conviction for theft offences had the highest rates of reoffending – 47.9%.

In Worcestershire, 26.4% of all offenders broke the law again within a year – down from 27.3% the year before.