Four out of 10 prisoners freed without any checks

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Four out of 10 offenders are released without checks on the danger they could pose to the public, a damning investigation by three criminal justice watchdogs discloses today.

The warning follows the murder of the City financier John Monckton and Hampshire mother Naomi Bryant by attackers who had been recently freed from prison.

The report provides fresh evidence of failings within the criminal justice system, which is about to be overhauled by John Reid, the Home Secretary.

It was compiled by Andrew Bridges, the chief inspector of probation, Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons and Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the chief inspector of constabulary.

They discovered that the risk to the public presented by offenders had not been analysed by the time of their release in 40 per cent of cases.

Police were not always told about the releases and prisons often failed to consult other agencies over the arrangements for supervising offenders.

The National Association of Probation Officers called for greater investment in trained staff.The Home Office said that checks on high-risk offenders and programmes to supervise them had improved since the report was carried out.