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Police cautions to be scrapped in England and Wales

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The use of informal warnings for those who commit minor offences is to be scrapped in England and Wales, under new plans announced by the Government.

Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, has revealed a new scheme that will see police cautions, as they currently stand, replaced by a tougher two-tier system.

Under the system those who commit very minor offences will be made to repair any damage they may have done or pay compensation for acts they may have carried out, while those who commit slightly more serious offences could face court if they fail to comply with conditions set down by the police.

The system is initially being trialled for a year in West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire, but it could be introduced across the whole of England and Wales if it proves successful.

The government have said the scheme, which will also give victims a greater say in how the offender is dealt with, will be tougher and simpler than the current system.

Mr Grayling said: “It isn’t right that criminals who commit lower-level crime can be dealt with by little more than a warning.

“It’s time we put an end to this country’s cautions culture. I think every crime should have a consequence, and this change will deliver that.”

The overhaul of what are known as out-of-court disposals, will mean cannabis warnings, community resolutions, penalty notices for disorder, simple cautions and conditional cautions would be replaced by the new two-tier framework.

Mr Grayling added: “This new approach will empower victims and give them a say in how criminals are dealt with, as well as making it easier for officers to deal with more minor offences.”