UK & World News
Cautions To Be Scrapped For Serious Crimes
Cautions for violent, sexual and drug offences will be scrapped, under reforms set to be announced by the Conservatives.
The party say the move will stop thousands of offenders who commit some of the most serious crimes escaping "with just a slap on the wrist".
New guidance will be issued immediately to ban the use of cautions for crimes including rape, manslaughter and robbery unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Almost 500 cautions were issued last for the most serious offences - those that would automatically be heard in the Crown Court if they went to trial.
A total of 5,084 cautions were issued for serious crimes, including 962 for possession of knives, 1,543 for other weapons and 54 for supplying or offering to supply class A drugs.
They were also used to deal with a raft of offences related to children, including seven for child prostitution and pornography, 183 for taking, distributing or publishing indecent photographs of children, 268 for possession of indecent photographs of a child, and 1,560 for cruelty or neglect of children.
It comes as a review is launched into the use of all out-of-court disposals, such as penalty notices, that Tories hope will show "if you break the law, you will not escape the law".