Justice written question – answered on 24th June 2014.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how many people were (a) prosecuted for, (b) convicted of, (c) cautioned for and (d) given a non-custodial sentence for rape in each year since 2008;

(2) how many people were (a) prosecuted for, (b) convicted of, (c) cautioned for and (d) given a non-custodial sentence for child cruelty and neglect in each year since 2008.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Severe maximum penalties are available for serious offences. Where an offender is prosecuted and convicted sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the courts, taking account of all the circumstances of each case. This will include the age of the offender, the seriousness of the offence, including all aggravating and mitigating factors, and a guilty plea.

Since 2010, crime has continued to fall but at the same time offenders are more likely to be sent to prison, and for longer. The average custodial sentence length is 15.5 months across all indictable offences, which is the highest in more than a decade, and the use of cautions is at its lowest level for 40 years. We are continuing to overhaul sentencing to ensure that the toughest sentencing measures are available to the courts. We have introduced an automatic life sentence for a second very serious sexual or violent offence and we propose to end automatic early release for all dangerous offenders. All serious offences should always be prosecuted at court. We are clamping down on the use of cautions for serious offences and repeat offenders, and reviewing the whole spectrum of out of court disposals so we have clarity and consistency and most importantly we have a system that victims and the public have confidence in.

Data for 2009 to 2013 on cautions and court outcomes for rape and neglect and cruelty to children are available at the following link to the new ‘Outcomes by offence’ table. The rape data can be found in the sexual offences section, and the neglect and cruelty to children data can be found in the ‘violence against the person’ section.


For the period 2008 please use the following links and select Volume 5, where the classification of the offences remains the same:


For 2008 cautions, please use the following link. Select Volume 3 Part 7, which provides data on ‘Persons cautioned for indictable offences by Offence, sex and age in table S3.7a’. As above, the classifications remain the same:


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