There has been a lot of internet attention paid to the news that the British Criminal "Justice" system is recommending cautions for a growing number of crimes. Today there's further evidence that the this is not a random or isolated incident.
The number of rapists being given nothing more than a caution has more than doubled in the past ten years. This is despite the fact that the Home Office states that cautions are given only in exceptional circumstances.
This comes at a time when the number of rapes being reported is rising year by year (there were 80,000 rapes or attempted rapes in 2001), and the number of people being prosecuted is falling- from 1 in 3 in 1977 to 1 in 20 in 2004.
The Crown Prosecution Service's position is that a caution can only be given in rare circumstances. One of the cautions they gave was to a 13 year old boy who had raped a young child. Instead of being punished for this horrendous crime a youth offenders team "showed him his behaviour was wrong".
As if this wasn't bad enough, only recently guidelines went out for consultation which are recommending that judges cut the jail time of convicted rapists by 15% because jail is now "more demanding". Got that? Prison is too demanding for rapists to be sent there for the full term of their sentence. I feel like the inmates have broken loose and are running the insane aslyum. Is this really what Britain has been reduced to? Concern that rapists might have a tough time in prison- but not a shred of concern for the victims who have to spend the rest of their lives living with it?
It's as if the government is hoisting a flag of surrender in the face of anarchy.
Update - The Times is also on the story and they provide this breakdown on the cautions handed out thus far;
In 2004 cautions were given to: nine boys aged 12 and under 15 who admitted raping a female; eleven boys aged 15 and under 18; three males aged 18 and under 21; and sixteen males aged 21 and over. In the same year a further 751 people were convicted in court of rape, only 5.29 per cent of rapes reported to police.
Sounds like an awful lot for "extreme circumstances" to me. What's so exceptional about the nineteen men who have face no punishment for their crimes? Or any of them for that matter?
Can someone explain to me why nine boys can rape a girl and all be let off with a caution?