In the Media

ACPO comment on annual criminal justice statistics

PUBLISHED May 30, 2013

ACPO lead on out of court disposals, Chief Constable Lynne Owens said: "As these statistics show, the use of out of court disposals, including cautions, has declined over the last decade. There are a range of out of court disposals available to police officers, and their use does vary across England and Wales. Local context is important, as is the influence of other criminal justice partners.

"ACPO are of the view that it is timely to simplify the numerous options, which have grown incrementally over recent years. Our focus will be on working with partners to recommend a simple and transparent regime which involves less bureaucracy for the front line, allows for discretionary decision making, and that can be easily scrutinised. This will ensure both the confidence of the communities we serve, and timely and effective justice for victims and offenders."

"It is, however, still important to recognise that a caution is a legitimate criminal justice outcome, with real sanctions attached. They have long term implications, such as notification on pre-employment checks, such that questions have recently been asked about the proportionality of data retention.

"The police service is currently working with the Ministry of Justice to understand the way in which cautions are used by forces nationally, and we hope that this review can lead to the broader simplification described."