Derbyshire police has issued more than 500 cautions this year to people who have admitted committing a crime – including sex offences and violent incidents.
Our Freedom of Information request to Derbyshire Constabulary has revealed the force has handed out 528 cautions up until July 30.
Some of the cautions given were for crimes such as sex offences, violence causing injury, drug possession, weapon possession and criminal damage.
Other cautions were for arson, theft, burglary, robbery, public disorder and shoplifting.
Chief Superintendent Kem Mehmet said: “The reason for issuing a caution depends entirely on the circumstances of the individual case. In some cases, victims don’t want to pursue a prosecution but instead decide that a caution would be the best course of action for them. In others, an offence may initially be reported and recorded as a violent assault, for example, but upon further investigation over several weeks, that may not be the case. It may also be that we don’t have the evidence to prosecute someone for one offence but can deal with them for a lesser charge.”
The breakdown of this year’s cautions show 153 were given for causing violence with injury, 95 for causing violence without injury, 66 for criminal damage, 55 for drug possession, 46 for shoplifting, 32 for public disorder, 21 for possession of weapon, 16 for drug trafficking, 10 for miscellaneous crimes against society, seven for sex offences, 16 for other theft offences, three for burglary, two for arson, two for bicycle theft, two for theft from person, two for vehicle crime and one for robbery.
Last year the force handed out a total of 1,340 cautions.
Cautions are given to anyone aged 10 or over for supposed ‘minor crimes’. Someone has to admit an offence and agree to be cautioned. A person can be arrested and charged if they don’t agree.
A caution is not a criminal conviction, but it could be used as evidence of bad character if someone goes to court for another crime.
Chief Supt Mehmet added: “The aim of police cautions is to provide a proportionate response based on the evidence, and to provide a swift resolution for the victim if that is what they want. They also give us further opportunities to protect the public. For example if someone is cautioned for sexual touching, they may also be placed on the sex offenders’ register for a number of years.”