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Police Cautions Issued for Sexual Offences Since 2011


Could you please provide me with figures for how many police cautions have been issued for the following offences since April 2011

1) Rape

2) Sexual assault

3) Indecent exposure

For each of these categories could you also further break down how many were issued to adults


Please find the information below.


Cautions to adult

Cautions to Juveniles






Sexual assault




Indecent Exposure








A simple caution is a non-statutory disposal that may be used for offences when specified public interest and eligibility are met.  The suspect must have made a clear and reliable admission of the offence.  The admission must be supported by some corroborated supporting evidence.  The public interest factors contained in the Full Code Test for Crown Prosecutors and the offender’s criminal history will also be considered.     

A guide has been developed by the Association of Chief Police Officers to assist in cautioning and charging decisions.  Officers determine the seriousness of the offence initially on a scale between 1 and 4, with 1 being the least serious.  If there are aggravating or mitigating factors, then the seriousness of the case will either increase or decrease one level.  The decision to caution must be made by an officer of at least the rank of sergeant, who is unrelated to the investigation.  The exception is the most serious indictable only cases which must be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a decision.  The process for youth offenders differs slightly from the above.  However, the two main factors remain the seriousness of the offence and whether the suspect is a repeat offender.

A decision to caution where an offence of rape has been committed will only be made following consultation with the Force Rape Champion and a specialist Rape and Serious Sexual Offence (RASSO) lawyer within the Crown Prosecution Service.  If the decision is taken to caution the offender, the offender is still subject to the controls imposed by being placed on the Sexual Offenders Register and are closely monitored to prevent further offences.

FOI reference: 1397/16.

Date of request: 17.11.16.