MORE than 1,500 dangerous criminals could avoid jail this year as a result of government cuts - prompting a local MP to slam the Conservatives.

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, said the figures are ‘deeply concerning’ - and he is fearful that the projected growth of the prison population will outpace places.

He said: “I am regularly contacted by constituents who have been victims of crime and I know how distressing this can be.

“Thirteen years of Conservative rule and a merry-go-round of everchanging Justice Secretaries has decimated the criminal justice system. It’s no wonder public confidence is at an all-time low.

“Justice delayed is justice denied, victims are being let down and record court backlogs mean some have to wait years just to have their case heard.

“I know that a Labour government would deliver the prison places needed, to help prevent crime, punish criminals and our protect communities.”