To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she has issued to police on cases where a parent is cautioned in respect of offences under section 1 of the Children and Young Person's Act 1933; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of such guidance in preventing child neglect.
I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.
The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for the policy on simple cautions. There is no specific guidance for cautioning offenders who have committed an offence under section 1 of the Children and Young Person's Act 1933. General guidance on simple cautions for adult offenders is contained in the Home Office Circular 016/2008. It does not stipulate the use of simple cautions in particular cases because it depends on the individual circumstances in each case. Instead it provides guidance to the police and Crown Prosecution Service on the use of simple cautions and explains the practical process of administering a caution.
We are developing a clearer national framework to deal with offending out of court which includes consolidating and simplifying the current raft of guidance including for simple cautions.