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

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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.