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John Fassenfelt: Cautions are 'cheaper for police'

Police cautions are designed for use in the case of minor offences or first time offenders, and to stop the courts becoming clogged up.

But some say cautions have gone too far - in England and Wales, there were 200,000 last year.

Magistrates say they are worried, and the government is now launching a review into them.

Justice Minister Damian Green told the Today programme: "Our intention with this review is that serious and repeat criminals shouldn't expect to escape with a caution.

"It is also to look at the individual areas of why, for example, in some police areas there's a much higher proportion of offenders receiving cautions than in other areas."

John Fassenfelt chair of the Magistrate's Association said: "It is cheaper for the police [to issue a caution] because they don't have to prepare so much paperwork to take it to court.

"My argument is that every crime has a victim, usually, and every victim deserves some paperwork."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 3 April 2013.

  • 03 Apr 2013
  • From the section UK