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Hundreds of arsonists, burglars and drug traffickers escape with cautions

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Hundreds of arsonists, burglars and drug traffickers escape with cautions

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Legal

Hundreds of arsonists, burglars and drug traffickers escape with cautions Hundreds of arsonists, burglars and drug traffickers escape with cautions

Image: Gavel via Shutterstock

Many arsonists, drug traffickers and burglars escaped with mere police cautions in London last year, figures have revealed.

A freedom of information request by GLA Conservative Tony Arbour showed that of the 29,560 cautions handed out to criminals in the capital last year:

• 1,356 criminals were cautioned for wounding/GBH.
• 301 drug traffickers were handed cautions.
• 246 cautions handed out to burglars.
• 107 robbers received cautions.
• 23 arsonists cautioned.

Further figures revealed in the FOI request show hundreds of offenders are getting off with multiple cautions and fines: 879 offenders in the capital have avoided court at least twice, and 236 offenders more than five times.

Tony Arbour said: “We should always think about, and answer to, the victim in these serious crimes. Crime is falling in the capital – now we need to make sure crooks and villains are being brought to justice effectively.

"Yet I’ve uncovered data showing that justice is increasingly administered outside of the actual justice system. The public can’t have confidence in a system where so many offenders are dealt with outside of court, just so that cases can be disposed of quickly.

"In effect, these people are being let off - some characters on more than five occasions. Cautions and fines should only be used as a warning the first time a criminal is caught. First, I urge the police service to publish figures of these decisions online - in full and on a quarterly basis - to increase transparency. Next, in the event of a caution or other out of court penalty, the victim should receive a written explanation of the reasons behind the decision, within a week of it being made.”

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