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NCJ Number: 62988 Find in a Library
Title: EVIDENCE TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, MEMORANDUM NO SIX - CAUTIONING BY THE POLICE - ENGLAND
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 57
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London, SW1H 9AT, England
Great Britain Home Office
London, SWIH 9AT, England
Sale Source: Great Britain Home Office
Pub. Home Office Library
Room 1001 Home Office
Queen Anne's Gate
London, SWIH 9AT,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE PRACTICE FOLLOWED BY THE POLICE IN ENGLAND AND WALES OF CAUTIONING OFFENDERS WHEN THEIR CONDUCT COULD HAVE LED TO PROSECUTION IS DISCUSSED; THE PRACTICE IS COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH JUVENILES AND MOTORISTS.
Abstract: THERE IS NO STATUTORY DEFINITION OF A 'CAUTION,' ALTHOUGH THE PRACTICE OF CAUTIONING HAS A MEASURE OF STATUTORY RECOGNITION. A CAUTION IS A FORMAL ACT, DISTINCT FROM VARIOUS KINDS OF GUIDANCE AND INFORMAL WARNINGS WHICH POLICE OFFICERS GIVE TO THE PUBLIC. IT REPRESENTS AN INTERMEDIATE STEP BETWEEN TAKING NO ACTION WITH RESPECT TO AN OFFENSE AND DECIDING TO PROSECUTE. IT IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE SYSTEM FOR DEALING WITH JUVENILES AND IS SOMETIMES USED FOR ADULTS. THERE ARE IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES IN THE CAUTIONING OF JUVENILES AND OF ADULTS AND ALSO A SEPARATE SYSTEM OF ISSUING WARNINGS TO MOTORISTS AND TO PROSTITUTES. DURING THE PERIOD 1958 THROUGH 1977, JUVENILES WERE MOST FREQUENTLY CAUTIONED FOR THEFT, HANDLING STOLEN GOODS, SEXUAL OFFENSES, FRAUD, AND FORGERY. THERE ARE CONSIDERABLE VARIATIONS IN CAUTIONING RATES BETWEEN POLICE FORCE AREAS. THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, FOR EXAMPLE, RARELY CAUTIONS ANY MALE OVER THE AGE OF 17. NONE OF THE EXISTING STUDIES HAS IDENTIFIED EXTRINSIC FACTORS TO ACCOUNT FOR THESE VARIATIONS. CRITERIA FOR DECIDING TO CAUTION INCLUDE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE OFFENDER, THE OFFENSE, THE ATTITUDE OF THE VICTIM, AND THE TREATMENT OF CO-OFFENDERS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS NECESSARY PRACTICE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BY THE HOME OFFICE. FOOTNOTES AND APPENDIXES ARE INCLUDED IN THE MEMORANDUM. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Criminal proceedings; England; Police discretion; Traffic violation warnings; Wales
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62988

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