Police Cautions

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 24th March 2015.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for what types of indictable-only offence a caution was issued in each year since 2009; and how many cautions were issued for each type of offence in that period.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 05 September 2014.

The correct answer should have been:

This Government has taken action to end the cautions culture and to make sure serious offenders do not receive penalties seen as soft options. The use of cautions is at its lowest point for thirty years.

We are changing the law to ban simple cautions for all of the indictable only offences - the most serious criminal offences which must be tried in the Crown Court, including rape, manslaughter and robbery. We are also banning simple cautions for possession of a knife or offensive weapon, supplying Class A drugs and a range of sexual offences against children.

Further, we announced proposals in November 2014 for a new out of court disposal framework that would see an end to cautions and warnings and would require offenders to take actions to comply with their disposals. Elements of this new framework are being piloted in Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and Leicestershire before a decision is taken on whether to implement the new framework across England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice issues guidance on the process to be followed by the police when they are administering simple cautions for adult offenders. The latest guidance, issued in November 2013 following the Simple Cautions Review, states that the use of a simple caution for indictable-only offences, such as rape, should only be given following authorisation by a senior police officer of at least the rank of Superintendent and the Crown Prosecution Service. These will be cases where there are exceptional circumstances which would mean that it is not in the public interest to prosecute.

Latest information on cautions issued by offence type is publicly available online at the Ministry of Justice’s statistics portal. This data is contained in Q2.3 of the Out of Court Disposals table: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-september-2014

Simple cautions are a non-statutory disposal available to the police to dispose of any offence committed by an adult and designed for dealing with low level, mainly first time offending. The Ministry of Justice issues guidance on the process to be followed by the police and the CPS when they are administering simple cautions for adult offenders. This guidance states that the use of a simple caution for indictable only offences should only be given following authorisation by the CPS. These will be cases where there were exceptional circumstances which would mean that it was not in the public interest to prosecute.

Since 2007 the overall number of simple cautions issued has halved. The cautioning rate, that is, the number of offenders cautioned as a percentage of offenders who were either cautioned or convicted, in 2013 was 20 per cent; which has declined from a peak of 31 per cent in 2007.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

This Government has taken action to end the cautions culture and to make sure serious offenders do not receive penalties seen as soft options. The use of cautions is at its lowest point for thirty years.

We are changing the law to ban simple cautions for all of the indictable only offences - the most serious criminal offences which must be tried in the Crown Court, including rape, manslaughter and robbery. We are also banning simple cautions for possession of a knife or offensive weapon, supplying Class A drugs and a range of sexual offences against children.

Further, we announced proposals in November 2014 for a new out of court disposal framework that would see an end to cautions and warnings and would require offenders to take actions to comply with their disposals. Elements of this new framework are being piloted in Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and Leicestershire before a decision is taken on whether to implement the new framework across England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice issues guidance on the process to be followed by the police when they are administering simple cautions for adult offenders. The latest guidance, issued in November 2013 following the Simple Cautions Review, states that the use of a simple caution for indictable-only offences, such as rape, should only be given following authorisation by a senior police officer of at least the rank of Superintendent and the Crown Prosecution Service. These will be cases where there are exceptional circumstances which would mean that it is not in the public interest to prosecute.

Latest information on cautions issued by offence type is publicly available online at the Ministry of Justice’s statistics portal. This data is contained in Q2.3 of the Out of Court Disposals table: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-september-2014

Simple cautions are a non-statutory disposal available to the police to dispose of any offence committed by an adult and designed for dealing with low level, mainly first time offending. The Ministry of Justice issues guidance on the process to be followed by the police and the CPS when they are administering simple cautions for adult offenders. This guidance states that the use of a simple caution for indictable only offences should only be given following authorisation by the CPS. These will be cases where there were exceptional circumstances which would mean that it was not in the public interest to prosecute.

Since 2007 the overall number of simple cautions issued has halved. The cautioning rate, that is, the number of offenders cautioned as a percentage of offenders who were either cautioned or convicted, in 2013 was 20 per cent; which has declined from a peak of 31 per cent in 2007.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.