London's Met Police 'gave five rapists cautions'

Related Stories

Five rapists were given police cautions rather than taken to court last year, figures released by the Metropolitan Police have shown.

Cautions were given to 28,998 people, including 180 for grievous bodily harm or wounding and 165 for sex offences.

The Met said it followed national police guidelines.

London Assembly member Tony Arbour, who requested the figures, said the use of cautions for serious offences was "outrageous".

The Metropolitan Police said: "For a caution to be issued, an offender must have made a clear and reliable admission, there is a realistic prospect of a conviction, and it is in the public interest to administer a caution.


  • An informal caution is an oral warning given by a police officer and does not count towards a criminal record
  • A formal caution will normally be given at a police station by an officer of inspector rank or above. It is regarded as a serious matter and may be cited in any subsequent court proceedings
  • A caution is not a conviction but it is administered only in cases where there is sufficient evidence for a prosecution and where the subject has admitted guilt

"For some sexual offences, in cases where the victim may not wish to proceed to court... the accused individual can be placed on the sex offences register for two years."

According to the figures, 5,843 people received cautions for violent attacks with injury, 131 for robbery and 318 offenders for drug trafficking.

Mr Arbour said: "It is unfair on victims, and the fact that a law-abiding resident will receive the same or even worse punishment for minor traffic offences as drug traffickers, robbers and rapists is simply outrageous."

The Crown Prosecution Service said there are two types of caution - simple and conditional. In the case of the latter, failure to comply with specific conditions would result in the original offence being prosecuted.

It said it advised police on indictable offences such as rape and murder, but otherwise it was an operational police matter.

Justice Minister Damian Green said: "The use of cautions has drastically fallen in the last five years and we are clear that people who commit serious crimes should be brought before a court."

He added a review into their use was due to be published shortly.

Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said: "Victims must have decisions explained to them in order to retain their confidence in the police and other criminal justice agencies.

"The police need to be clear on when it is appropriate to give a caution - for example this is not likely to be right for most violent and sexual offences."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London



9 °C 5 °C

BBC Local Live

    08:27: TV headlines BBC London News TV

    The headlines in this morning's bulletins include:

    • Public Health England has found that young people in London are the least likely to smoke in the country
    • A care home for the elderly in Rotherhithe is holding cocktail parties to help people with dementia relive their younger years
    Asad Ahmad
    08:17: Thameslink service returns Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    Thameslink trains are back to normal after the disruption yesterday and on Friday following flooding in one of the tunnels.

    08:10: Milder than lately

    It's a bright, chilly start with some patchy ground frost.

    Weather today

    Cloudy conditions will gradually spread from the west, but it should remain dry with a maximum temperature of 9C (48F).

    08:01: Radio headlines Jason Rosam Journalist, BBC London

    The top stories this morning:

    08:00: Rebecca Cafe BBC News

    Good morning. I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather until 18:00.

    You can email me your comments about the stories of the day or send photos or tweet @BBCLondonNews.



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.