73% of those put before the courts having previous criminal convictions – and one third of that number having served a prison sentence before. Those with criminal records have an average of 15 offences each. Overall, 26% had served time in prison previously.
From here, replying of British government statistics.
The "draconian" criminal sentences imposed on those convicted were also still pretty mild by American standards. A 57% of those convicted of riot related crimes were jailed at all and the average sentence for those sent to jail was less than a year.
[T]he 176 people so far jailed over the riots have been sentenced to an average of 11.1 months. The detailed figures show that those convicted of burglary during the riots – generally looting – have been jailed for 14.1 months, compared with the normal rate of 8.8 months, a sentence some 60% longer than normal.
Those convicted of violent disorder are being jailed for 10.4 months compared with 5.3 months normally, and those convicted of theft are getting sentences three times as long: 7.1 months compared with a normal rate of 2.4 months.
The figures also show a much more hardline approach to using prison sentences, with 43% of those sentenced so far by magistrates being sent to jail compared with a normal custody rate of 12%.