More than 100 sex offences in Suffolk dealt with as police caution
- Credit: Archant
More than 100 sex offences have been dealt with by way of police caution over the last five years in Suffolk, figures have revealed.
A Freedom of Information request showed that a total of 112 sex offences, including child rape, had resulted in no further action than a warning since 2015.
Figures released by Suffolk Constabulary revealed that the number of cautions issued for sex offences peaked at 27 in 2015 but fell in consecutive years to 11 in 2020.
Among the 112 cautions over the last five years, 20 were handed to juveniles aged 13 to 18.
Six were handed out for sexual grooming, 14 were given for exposure of voyeurism, three for sex offences by people in a position of trust and two for child rape in 2016.
All but one of the remaining 92 were handed out for sexual assault.
A caution can can be disclosed in criminal records checks and taken into consideration by the courts if a person is convicted of a further offence.
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Police said cautions were valid means of disposal, used appropriately, proportionately and in line with the overall aims of the justice system.
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesperson said the decision process when dealing with cases focused on the victim, the circumstances, the type and seriousness of the offence, the offender’s history and the impact on communities, adding: “Suffolk police takes reports of sexual offences extremely seriously and they are all fully investigated.
"The sexual offences recording category includes a wide range of offences, ranging from the lower level to the more serious. The circumstances of these offences also vary widely, some being inter-familial and others involving consensual sexual activity between those who are underage.
“It should also be noted that the use of cautions have gone down over recent years as crimes of this nature are taken very seriously, and in conjunction with the victim's wishes, the force seeks to take alternative positive action wherever possible.
“However, as with any reported crime, the concerns of the victim are always at the forefront of our policing and any investigations that are concluded with a caution or are only done so after careful consideration and if it is felt appropriate for all parties concerned.”