Rapists And Burlgars Being Let Off With Cautions
Tuesday 22nd July 2014
Almost 30,000 criminals in London including rapists and burglars were let off with cautions in the last year.
That's an 8% rise on the previous 12 months and meant that criminals responsible for 286 sex offences, including two rapes, avoided court by accepting the rebuke.
The numbers also show that 1,356 criminals were cautioned for wounding or grievous bodily harm.
Critics say victims are being let down by the Metropolitan police.
London Assembly member Tony Arbour requested the figures under the Freedom of Information Act and believes the public will lose confidence in the justice system.
He told LBC's Morning News:"The police are under considerable pressure to cut costs.
"The public can't have confidence in a system where so many offenders are dealt with outside of court, just so that cases can be disposed of quickly.
"What is even worse is the number of people who receive multiple cautions. These figures show there were more than 200 individuals who were on their fifth caution.
"Those criminals are having a laugh at the expense of the public and their victims."
A spokesman for the Met said officers follow official guidelines and are told to use their professional discretion when handing out cautions.
He said: "A caution is a serious matter; they are not taken lightly and we are conscious of the consequences that this judicial disposal can have on a person's future.
"It should also be recognised that they are used predominately to deal with first-time offenders and as an alternative to court appearance where guilt is admitted."
He said in some sex cases where the victim did not want to go to court cautions were handed out as it allowed the criminal to be put on the sex offenders register for two years.