Half of convicted sex attackers avoid jail, it has emerged, in what has been branded an "insult" to victims.
Violent criminals and burglars are also avoiding prison sentences.
More than 100 paedophiles who abused children aged under 13 – 46 per cent of the total - walked free, while 49 per cent of those convicted of sexual assault in 2012 did not receive a custodial sentence.
Labour's shadow justice secretary, Sadiq Khan, used parliamentary questions to obtain the statistics. He told the Daily Telegraph: "Some of these crimes are so serious and violent that members of the public rightly expect them to lead to a prison sentence.
"One of the concerns is that this is being done in order to save money. Justice done on the cheap like this risks prisoners reoffending rather than being reformed, which means more victims and misery.
"This will be an insult to many victims of crime who want to see those who committed crimes against them properly punished and rehabilitated."
A total of 11,000 burglars escaped being sent to prison, as did 5,000 robbers.
Some 51 per cent of drug dealers avoided jail terms, and so did seven in eight common assault offenders.