The government has cited greater public focus as a possible driving factor behind the rise in the number of people sentenced for sexual offences.

Latest Ministry of Justice statistics show that 7,100 people were sentenced for sexual offences in the year ending June 2016, up from 4,800 a decade ago.

The number of defendants prosecuted for sexual offences jumped by 1,000 since the year ending June 2015.

The report states that the increase could be related to improved reporting and recording, as well as increased public focus.

A rise in the average custodial sentence length over the past decade has, in part, been attributed to the average custodial sentence length for sexual offences increasing by 21 months since 2006.

The report states that more people are being sentenced for sexual offences, and the sentences are getting longer.

In September the Crown Prosecution Service said it was prosecuting and convicting a record number of rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse cases.

Its annual Violence against Women and Girls report showed that rape, domestic abuse and sexual offences now account for nearly a fifth of the CPS’s total caseload.

The ministry’s report states that the number of individuals (including companies) who have been dealt with formally by the criminal justice system in England and Wales has been declining since 2007, reaching a record low of 1.7 million in the 12 months ending June 2016.

Offenders dealt with for indictable offences with no criminal history were more likely to go to court and be convicted as they were to receive a caution.

Persistent offenders (those with eight or more convictions or cautions) have on average 24 previous sanctions.

There were 211,000 persistent offenders in the year ending June 2016, accounting for more than five million crimes.