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Young Offenders: Rape

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 10 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many offenders of each age group were (a) convicted and (b) cautioned for (i) rape of a child under 13 and (ii) rape of a child under 16 in each of the last three years; (317738)

(2) how many offenders aged (a) 17 and under and (b) 18 and over were given a caution for rape in each of the last five years.

Information showing the number of offenders found guilty at all courts and cautioned for offences of rape of a child under 13 and under 16, by age group, England and Wales, from 2006 to 2008 (latest available) is shown in tables 1 and 2 as follows.

The number of offenders cautioned for rape, by age group, England and Wales, 2004 to 2008 (latest available) is shown in table 3 as follows.

Data for 2009 are planned for publication in the autumn, 2010.

Guidance on the use of simple cautions is clear that they should not be used for serious offences. In the vast majority of serious sexual offences a caution would not be appropriate and a prosecution would be in the public interest. The decision to caution an offender for an indictable-only offence such as rape will always be taken by the Crown Prosecution Service.

There will, however, always be exceptional cases in which it would not be in the interest of the victim or the public to prosecute, and in these circumstances administering a caution is considered to be preferable to taking no further action, and ensures that the offender is put on the sexual offenders’ register and can be monitored. In some sexual offences cases, for example, it may be decided that the age, welfare or mental well-being of the victim or offender argues against putting them through a trial. In addition, children below the age of 13 cannot consent to sexual relations in law, and so such cases may be classified as rape even where the offence otherwise has the characteristics of a consenting sexual relationship.

Table 1: The number of defendants found guilty at all courts for rape1 of a child under 13 and under 16, by age group, England and Wales, 2006-082, 3

Offence description

2006

2007

20084

Age 10-17

Rape of a child under 13

41

44

41

Rape of a child under 16

14

13

21

Sub-total

55

57

62

Age 18 and over

Rape of a child under 13

76

84

133

Rape of a child under 16

220

246

234

Sub-total

296

330

367

All ages

Rape of a child under 13

117

128

174

Rape of a child under 16

234

259

255

Total

351

387

429

1 Excludes attempted rape.

2 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

3 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 police forces and the courts. 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.

4 Excludes convictions for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008.

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

Table 2: The number of offenders cautioned1, 2 for rape3 of a child under 13 and under 16, by age group, England and Wales, 2006-084

Offence description

2006

2007

2008

Age 10-17

Rape of a child under 13

12

23

22

Rape of a child under 16

1

2

4

Sub-total

13

25

26

Age 18 and over

Rape of a child under 13

2

1

Rape of a child under 16

3

5

Sub-total

5

6

All ages

Rape of a child under 13

12

25

23

Rape of a child under 16

1

5

9

Total

13

30

32

1 The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time the principal offence is the more serious offence.

2 From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and warnings. These figures have been included in the totals.

3 Excludes attempted rape.

4 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 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.

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.

Table 3: The number of offenders cautioned1, 2 for rape3, England and Wales, 2004-084

Age group

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Age 10 to 17

20

17

13

25

26

Age 18 and over

16

3

6

7

9

All ages

36

20

19

32

35

1 The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time the principal offence is the more serious offence.

2 From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and warnings. These figures have been included in the totals.

3 Excludes attempted rape.

4 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 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.

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.