Met issues 29k cautions a year

Nearly 30,000 cautions were handed to criminals by the UK's biggest police force in the year to March for offences including robbery, drug trafficking and rape, new figures revealed today.

Police respond to Cautions FOI request

A spokeswoman for the Met Police said the force follows guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers on the offences for which a caution may be an appropriate disposal.

For a caution to be issued, an offender must have made a clear and reliable admission, there is a realistic prospect of a conviction, and it is in the public interest to administer a caution.

For some sexual offences, in cases where the victim may not wish to proceed to court, one of the factors that then is considered in administering the caution is that the accused individual can be placed on the sex offences register for two years, which enables police to monitor them to increase public safety.

A caution is a serious matter, which can have significant consequences for the person's future employment.

A caution is a serious matter, which can have significant consequences for the person's future employment.

Officers are encouraged to use their discretion regarding out of court disposals, acting in a proportionate manner, and taking into account the individual circumstance of the case, victims and communities.

Victim Support: "Police need to be clear"

Victims across London tell us they want the response to fit the crime and for that response to make sure the offender doesn't do it again.

Although it is ultimately up to the police to decide on when to give a caution, victims must have decisions explained to them in order to retain their confidence in the police and other criminal justice agencies.

The police need to be clear on when it is appropriate to give a caution - for example, this is not likely to be right for most violent and sexual offences."

– Javed Khan, chief executive of the independent charity Victim Support

Advertisement

Arbour: "quarter of all solved crimes in London escape punishment"

Elsewhere, 180 offenders were cautioned for grievous bodily harm or wounding, 131 for robbery and 318 for drug trafficking.

The whole point of the British legal system is that justice should be seen to be done.

However, a quarter of all solved crimes in London escape punishment.

The 29,000 cautions and youth warnings given out in private during the last year demonstrate that criminals are getting away with increasingly serious crimes.

The Crown Prosecution Service is not doing Londoners a service by allowing people who admit their guilt not to go to court.

It is frustrating for police officers to find that time spent trawling through evidence and catching criminals is ultimately wasted because villains are not brought to justice.

It is unfair on victims, and the fact that a law-abiding resident will receive the same or even worse punishment for minor traffic offences as drug traffickers, robbers and rapists is simply outrageous.

– London Assembly member Tony Arbour

Met issues 29,000 cautions in year

Nearly 30,000 cautions were handed to criminals by the UK's biggest police force in the year to March for offences including robbery, drug trafficking and rape, new figures revealed today.

According to figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request by London Assembly member Tony Arbour, the Metropolitan Police issued 28,998 cautions in the period, a quarter of all solved crimes in the capital.

Among the cautions issued, 5,843 were given for violent attacks, 165 were handed out for sexual offences and five were for rape.