More than a quarter of criminals in Carmarthenshire went on to reoffend within the space of just one year.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that a total of 1,148 adults were released from prison, cautioned or handed a non-custodial conviction at court between July 2019 and June 2020 in Carmarthenshire.

Of those, 313 (27.3 per cent) went on to commit at least one further crime within 12 months.

Between them, the 313 reoffenders racked up 1,035 new offences, which amounts to an average of 3.3 each.

The Ministry of Justice has warned that some prolific criminals might appear multiple times in the figures for one 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.

Around one in five fraud offenders reoffended within a year of their release or their conviction in the year to June 2020, compared to just 13.9% in the year to June 2010, when these figures first began.

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

In Carmarthenshire, one out of 13 fraud offenders broke the law again.

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

"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,” commented Amber Burridge, head of fraud intelligence for Cifas.

"Often people feel ashamed and embarrassed about being a victim to fraud and may be susceptible to further scams that claim to help you get your money back as they try to deal with it alone.

"This is not something you have to struggle with on your own."

She added that any victims of financial fraud should report it and inform their bank immediately.

At 35.4%, reoffending rates in Carmarthenshire were also highest for theft offences.