SHIPLEY MP Philip Davies is demanding that judges slash the numbers of crooks given bail – as official figures reveal more than 1,000 criminals each week walk free before being jailed.

Latest Government statistics show 53,900 criminals who were later sent to prison, were not remanded in custody, either before a trial or after being found guilty.

Mr Davies said the figures for the 12 months to March 2014 proved tougher action was needed.

“These figures totally discredit the Howard League for Penal Reform which this week are claiming courts are “needlessly locking up people” and that there is widespread “overuse and misuse of remand”.

"This simply is not the case. On average 1,038 criminals each week leave court, but are later given a prison sentence.

"There is no reason not to remand more people in custody when it is clear they will be sent to prison.”

The Ministry of Justice figures given to Mr Davies show in comparison there were about 27,000 people who were remanded in custody and later either acquitted, given a fine, community service or discharge by magistrates and judges.

“The official figures speak for themselves," he said.

"The Howard League for Penal Reform has been throwing around figures which do not show the whole picture, manipulated to make their argument.

"We are certainly not too tough but too lenient. The 53,900 criminals were let free and many will have gone on to commit more crimes.”

Mr Davies also criticised the Howard League's chief executive Frances Crook, who has called for an end to “courts remanding innocent people and people accused of petty crime,” claiming her views were naïve and out of line with public opinion.

He added: “To suggest that magistrates are merrily remanding innocent and trivial offenders in prison willy-nilly is insulting.

"More people should be remanded in my opinion. If people suspect they will be sent to prison there is also the chance they will not turn up, leading to police time wasted in chasing arrest warrants.”

The figures also show more than 61,000 people did not attend their court appearance.

The Howard League for Penal Reform told the Telegraph & Argus it would not be making any response to Mr Davies' comments and criticism.