Thousands of career burglars are being “let off with a slap on the wrist” when they should be jailed, says Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston’s MP.

Shipley constituency MP, Philip Davies, said his constituents and all right-minded people would expect someone who kept committing crimes to be in prison and not walk free from court.

Speaking in Commons Justice Questions, Mr Davies said: “Every year about 3,000 burglars with 15 or more previous convictions behind them are not sent to prison. How is releasing these people back on to the streets to continue their crime spree helping victims of crime and isn’t it time that legislation is introduced so that persistent burglars like that must be sent to prison?”

Mr Davies has repeatedly called for tougher sentences and for a sentence escalator to be introduced, meaning a criminal would serve longer for the second crime they committed.

He said there should be “consequences” for judges who let offenders escape prison leaving them free and to commit further crime.

Justice Minister, Damian Green, said: “It will mean that people sentenced to short, even under 12-month sentences, will for the first time receive help in prison and ensure they are much less likely to re-offend when they come out.”