Serious further offences are very rare. Fewer than 0.5% of offenders under statutory supervision are charged with a serious further offence.
An offender sentenced to life imprisonment is eligible for release on life licence only once he has completed the minimum term (tariff) specified by the Court at the point of sentence. It falls to the independent Parole Board to determine whether to release a life sentence prisoner who has completed his minimum term and the Board will direct release only where it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the purposes of public protection for the prisoner to remain confined.
The Ministry of Justice does not keep the figures requested in relation to (b) other offences and to obtain them would incur disproportionate cost. The Ministry of Justice does capture however, the more serious further offences (SFOs) by means of the Probation SFO Review Procedures. In accordance with those Procedures, the National SFO Team in HM Prison and Probation Service is notified of an offender subject to statutory probation supervision appearing in court charged with a qualifying offence under Probation Instruction 2018 06
Accordingly, there are published statistics on convictions for an SFO on the part of an offender on life licence, arising from notifications to the National SFO Team between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2018. I have provided the link below. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/serious-further-offences.
We will publish SFO conviction data for 2018/19 in October 2020.
The table below shows these figures broken down by homicide and other serious offences for 2015- 2018 which is the most recent available data in the last five years.
Serious Further Offence (SFO) type
Number of offenders on life sentence who committed homicide
Number of offenders on life sentence who committed other serious further offences
2015 - 2016
2016 - 2017
2017 - 2018
14 offenders have been sentenced to life in the last five years who had received one or more previous life sentence on a separate occasion.