· Hundreds of crooks avoid court on multiple occasions
· ‘Written explanation of decisions will answer to victims’
London: 29,560 cautions were handed out to criminals by the Met, the UK’s biggest police force, in 2013/14¹.
The figures are slightly up from the previous year’s 28,998 cautions (2012/13).
Despite crime falling in the Capital, FOI figures exclusively obtained by GLA Conservative Tony Arbour show:
· 1,356 criminals were cautioned for wounding/GBH
· 301 drug traffickers were handed cautions
· 246 cautions handed out to burglars
· 107 robbers received cautions
· 23 arsonists escaped the justice system with a caution
Further exclusive figures show hundreds of offenders are getting off with multiple cautions and fines instead of facing justice – 879 offenders in the Capital have avoided court² at least twice – 236 offenders more than five times.³
GLA Conservative Tony Arbour is calling for victims to receive written explanations of decisions in the event of a caution or fine, in order to boost answerability.
Tony Arbour, GLA Conservative London Assembly Member, said:
“We should always think about, and answer to, the victim in these serious crimes. Crime is falling in the Capital – now we need to make sure crooks and villains are being brought to justice effectively. Yet I’ve uncovered data showing that justice is increasingly administered outside of the actual justice system. The public can’t have confidence in a system where so many offenders are dealt with outside of court, just so that cases can be disposed of quickly. In effect, these people are being let off – some characters on more than five occasions. Cautions and fines should only be used as a warning the first time a criminal is caught. First, I urge the police service to publish figures of these decisions online – in full and on a quarterly basis – to increase transparency. Next, in the event of a caution or other out of court penalty, the victim should receive a written explanation of the reasons behind the decision, within a week of it being made.”
¹ FOI data provided directly to GLA Conservative Tony Arbour in July 2014.
² 879 offenders have received Out of Court Disposals (OOCDs) – either cautions, penalty notices or community resolutions in London in 2013/14.
³ Data provided from MOPAC directly to Tony Arbour upon request in 2014