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NCJ Number: 163543 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Instant Cautions for Summary Offences
Author(s): D Maddison
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 85
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office, Policing and Reducing Crime Unit
London, SW1H 9HD, England
Sale Source: Great Britain Home Office, Policing and Reducing Crime Unit
Research, Development and Statistics Directorate
Clive House, Room 415
Petty France
London, SW1H 9HD,
United Kingdom
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This report presents the methodology, findings, and recommendations of a British pilot program that used instant "street" cautions for summary (noncriminal) offenses instead of traditional police actions.
Abstract: Traditional police methods for dealing with summary offenses are to report offenders for summons, charging to court, or issuing fixed penalty notices. Such methods can be expensive and counterproductive. The pilot program of cautioning for such offenses aimed to bring greater fairness to the cautioning system while saving time and money and freeing the police and courts from burdensome workloads and passing the savings on to major police concerns. This study analyzed current methods of dealing with adults who commit minor offenses; examined whether subsequent action is justified in terms of cost, resources, and societal requirements; analyzed current methods of cautioning adults; evaluated the effectiveness of standardizing and extending the cautioning of adults; and developed recommendations based on the findings. Between February and May 1994, a pilot study was conducted in the Middlesbrough District of Cleveland. A system for dealing with summary offenses was introduced whereby patrolling officers issued recordable cautions instantly to adult offenders. The scheme and associated questionnaire surveys examined cost benefits, perceived effect on offenders, and benefits to officers in terms of ease of dealing with summary offenders and the effect of reducing administration. The implementation of the instant summary offense cautioning scheme was judged to be fair and efficient in its application to the type of offenses covered. The use of fixed penalty notices was reduced by over 50 percent, and officers who used the scheme rated it as very useful; few problems were encountered. Time savings were estimated to be in the range of 280,000 personnel hours per year in England and Wales. This is a savings of approximately 5.5 million pounds per year in police costs and an additional 21.4 million pounds per year in associated court costs. Recommendations are offered for standardizing and improving prosecution policy. Extensive tables and figures and appended questionnaire
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Police discretion; Public order offenses; Traffic offenses
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