Skip to main content

Sexual Offences: Police Cautions

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many official cautions were issued for (a) rape and (b) other sexual offences in (i) Suffolk, (ii) Bedfordshire, (iii) Cambridgeshire, (iv) Essex, (v) Hertfordshire, (vi) Norfolk and (vii) England in each year since 1997. (143924)

Decisions on cautioning are entirely an operational matter for local police forces. Serious sexual offences are very unlikely to be suitable for a caution. In a small number of cases local police and CPS may decide that it is not in the public interest to take a case to court (e.g. where a 16-year-old boy has consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend).

Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the number of defendants cautioned for rape and other sexual offences in the relevant police force areas in England between 1997 and 2005 can be viewed in the following table.

Number of offenders cautioned for rape offences in the relevant police force areas and in England between 1997 and 20051,2,3,,4

Rape offences

Bedfordshire

Cambridgeshire

Essex

Hertfordshire

Norfolk

Suffolk

England

1997

0

3

3

3

0

0

26

1998

1

1

2

3

3

4

25

1999

0

3

3

1

1

1

32

2000

0

1

2

0

0

8

37

2001

0

2

1

0

2

2

39

2002

0

4

1

0

2

3

31

2003

0

1

1

1

2

5

39

2004

0

2

4

0

1

2

40

2005

0

0

0

0

0

2

22

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Includes data from the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which came into force on 1 May 2003.

4 Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice

Number of defendants cautioned for sexual offences not including rape in certain police force areas and England, 1997 to 20051,2,3,4

Other sexual offences

Bedfordshire

Cambridgeshire

Essex

Hertfordshire

Norfolk

Suffolk

England

1997

21

30

49

7

38

26

1,782

1998

25

24

51

16

36

26

1,596

1999

14

29

39

18

18

21

1,346

2000

12

16

36

22

18

26

1,175

2001

22

23

26

10

15

28

1,143

2002

37

16

30

6

13

20

1,091

2003

19

19

30

11

29

28

1,226

2004

27

22

30

27

38

41

1,424

2005

13

32

40

27

30

28

1,643

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Includes data from the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which came into force on 1 May 2003.

4 Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice