Cautions to be scrapped
The government are planning on doing away with police cautions. A caution, a formal warning, is given when those in England and Wales commit minor offences. Many members of the public are left feeling that offenders walk away “scot-free” under the current system.
New proposals if implemented will mean that offenders would repair any damage they have caused or pay compensation to their victims.
The government say that the new scheme would mean that victims would have a say in how offenders are punished.
The overhaul of what are known as out-of-court disposals will mean a new two-tier framework.
First-time offenders committing minor crimes would face a new statutory community resolution which could see them offering a verbal or written apology to their victim, paying compensation or fixing damage. More serious crimes would be dealt with by a suspended prosecution which would have one or more conditions attached, for example paying a fine, or attending a rehabilitation course.
Suspended prosecutions would be traced on a criminal record but community resolutions would not, the Ministry of Justice said. The system will be trialed for a year in the Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and Leicestershire police force areas, starting this November. If successful it will be introduced across England and Wales.
If you have any questions relating to this article, please contact our Criminal department on 01743 248545.