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Rape: Police Cautions

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 134273, tabled on 6 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have received a police caution for rape in England and Wales in each year since 2015.

Answered on

11 January 2021

The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 placed new restrictions on the use of Cautions for Indictable only offences (such as Rape) for offenders over 18. This restricted their use to exceptional circumstances, and only with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on police cautions issued for rape offences, up to December 2018, in the ‘Outcomes by Offence’ data tool, available here:

Using the data tool above, type ‘rape’ in the ‘Offence’ filter. Select all options (19C-H, using ‘Select Multiple Items’ tickbox) in order to see police cautions for all rape offences. Number of cautions issued can be identified for each year from 2008 to 2018 in Row 23.

The figures relate to defendants 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 it 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.

The Out of Court Disposals framework is currently being reformed following the announcement of the Lord Chancellor in the Sentencing White Paper in September 2020: Legislation will be brought forward in due course.

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