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About McLennan Adam Davis

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Criminals with a Caution Likely to Recommit in 12 Months

A study has shown that criminals who have been given a caution by the police are exceptionally likely to continue committing crimes and reoffend.

Figures have shown that criminals committed nearly 85,000 new crimes within 12 months of being let off with a cautionary measure. This equated to an average of 223 criminal offences per day on average. The likelihood to re-offend led to many critics stating that the current system for managing re-offenders was not effective and had to be readdressed.

Ministry of Justice stats showed that 423 adults and 67 juveniles went on to re-offend within 24 hours of receiving a caution between October 2012 and September 2013. A Freedom of Information request reveals 48,566 crimes were committed by offenders handed a caution six months earlier.

Issue with the Warning System

Following the stats, many have called for the scrapping of the cautionary system. David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, said: “It’s a quick way for police to process people and show that they are doing something – that’s the attraction because it is quicker than putting them through the courts.

"But if they are releasing people into the community when they are pretty certain that they will re-offend it is not putting the protection of the public first.

“Issuing cautions is supposed to be a 'warning shot across the bows' for minor offenders. It obviously isn’t working.”

The MoJ has already banned the issuing of cautions for serious offenders with no caution being given more than once in a two year period.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said:“Offences carried out by those given a caution are at their lowest level for over a decade, falling by a quarter since 2010 alone.

"However, we are not complacent and last year, cautions for serious offences were banned to give victims and the public confidence that justice will be served.

"We have also announced plans to scrap cautions altogether, making sure criminals face the consequences their actions deserve."

Stats show that 30.7% of juveniles who received a reprimand, warning or caution in 2013-14 went on to reoffend compared to 24.4% in 2002. The same figures demonstrated that there were 22,859 adult offenders who went on to commit a violent crime following a caution earlier, 4,819 of those committed a sexual crime between July 2013 and June 2014.

Figures in the UK showed that there had been a significant rise in the number of sexual offences as well as other serious crimes.

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