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Police Cautions

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Solicitor-General what monitoring the Law Officers' Departments undertake of the operation of the issuing of conditional cautions; and how many such cautions have been issued in each police authority. (149294)

The joint Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)/Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) prosecution team is responsible for the implementation of and the day-to-day monitoring of the conditional cautioning scheme.

Monitoring of the use of the conditional cautions is undertaken at both national and local level. An information data set has been produced, which contains national and local performance data including the number of offenders being conditionally cautioned and the types of offences conditional cautions have been issued for. The information data set is issued by the national prosecution team on a monthly basis to all staff across areas with lead responsibility for conditional cautioning.

Information contained in the information data set is obtained from the CPS case management system and management information system as well as from local areas and Home Office research, development and statistics (RDS) data. Collating the data in this way allows for a consistent, national recording mechanism which does not require additional reporting from areas.

Conditional cautioning is being implemented across each criminal justice area in a phased approach. To date, conditional cautioning is operational in 93 police basic command units across 41 out of the 42 criminal justice areas. Full implementation of the scheme across 230 basic command units is expected to be achieved by April 2008. There have been 2,963 conditional cautions issued nationally since the first pilot schemes were introduced in 2005. A breakdown of the number of conditional cautions in each CPS area is also available from:

conditional.cautioning:cps.gsi.gov.uk

In Gloucestershire, conditional cautions were introduced on 25 June 2007 in the Cotswold and Stroud division. However, to date no conditional cautions have been issued in this division.