Revealed: How police issue cautions for child sex offences committed by teachers, doctors and carers
Nine offenders in a position of trust were cautioned in a year
Care workers were warned for sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder
One offender in a position of trust made a child watch a sexual act
A review into the use of cautions is being carried out by Ministry of Justice
People in a position of trust, such as teachers, doctors and carers, are being let off with cautions for child sex offences, fresh data has shown.
Two care workers were cautioned for sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder and four offenders in a position of trust were cautioned for sexual activity with a child, in a year.
A total of nine offenders who were in a position of trust were cautioned for abuse between 2011 and 2012.
Cautions were issued for a wide range of sexual offences including eight rapes, 15 rapes of a child under 13 and 254 cases of sexual activity with a child.
The data revealed that one offender in a position of trust was cautioned for making a child watch a sexual act.
The information was requested by George Howarth, Labour MP for Knowsley, in Merseyside.
Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation Jeremy Wright said the Ministry of Justice launched a review in April into the use of cautions, which will examine whether there are some offences for which the use of cautions is inappropriate.
He said: ‘Court will always be the right place for serious and contested cases and those involving prolific offenders.
‘The use of cautions is at its lowest level for more than five years, as is the number of cautions issued to those who have a previous criminal record.
‘However, there will be a number of difficult cases, including those where both victim and perpetrator are children, or where victims and witnesses are reluctant to give evidence, where the police may decide that administering a caution is a preferable option to there being no record of the offence committed.’
12 offenders were cautioned for causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, while 34 were cautioned for causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
The figures showed 116 offenders were cautioned for causing or inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, while 51 people were cautioned for causing or inciting prostitution for gain.
The figures showed 10 offenders were cautioned for meeting a child following sexual grooming, while 65 were cautioned for sexual assault of a child under 13.
Mr Howarth said: ‘Whilst there are some examples where it would clearly be appropriate for a caution to be issued, others are clearly questionable.
Of particular concern are those that involve people in positions of trust committing sex offences, of one kind or another, against children and rape offences’
‘This matter needs to dealt with urgently to reassure the public that those who commit these offences are subjected to appropriate severe action. In many of these cases, a caution would not meet that test.”