Thousands of sex offenders let off for apologising to victims | UK | News

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Thousands of sex offenders let off for apologising to victims | UK | News

Over 2,000 sex offenders, including rapists, have dodged serious punishment in the past four years by simply saying ‘sorry’ to their victims. Instead of going to court, the police and Crown Prosecution Service agreed to a ‘community resolution’.

These orders are meant for minor crimes and require criminals to admit their wrongs and either apologise or pay compensation to the victim.

However, Home Office data reveals that these resolutions were used for 2,152 sex crimes in the past four years, including sexual assaults, grooming and flashing offences.

This means that every week, more than 10 sex offenders avoid real punishment and bypass the court system by just apologising to their victims.

MailOnline reported the use of community resolutions for sex offenders in 2023. And the latest Home Office data shows their use is still high among UK forces.

There were 639 in the year to last March, after the previous 12 months saw 643 a significant increase from 421 to 449 in the two years prior. Police chiefs say community resolutions are usually only used for sexual offences if the victim agrees to it.

Included among the offences dealt with by way of community resolution were 11 child rape cases, claims MailOnline.

Last year, police in Hampshire and Humberside used a method known as community resolution to handle separate rape attacks on girls under 13. The same approach was used by West Midlands police to conclude an investigation into the rape of a boy under 13.

In the past three years, officers in Durham, Lincolnshire, Cheshire and Nottinghamshire have used this method for dealing with rape attacks on girls under 13. Norfolk police also used a community resolution in a case involving the rape of a young boy.

Merseyside police used this method to deal with a case of rape of a girl under 16. Derbyshire and Devon and Cornwall police also closed two rape cases involving women in this way.

This method was also used to conclude 56 cases of sexual grooming and 378 offences of exposure or voyeurism over the past four years.

In total, there were 1,169 sexual assault cases over the past four years that ended with a community resolution. Most of these crimes were committed against women and girls.

Police say some of these offences involve two consenting underage children. These incidents must be recorded as crimes, but prosecution would be too severe a punishment.

When a victim reports a crime, police can choose a community resolution if the offender admits they were responsible and offers some form of apology or compensation.

Typically, community resolutions are only used for minor offences committed by people who are not considered to be prolific or dangerous offenders.

The victim’s opinion on how the crime should be handled will be taken into account by the police, but they are not obliged to follow it.

David Spencer, from the Centre for Crime Prevention, commented: ‘Apologising might be an appropriate punishment for a child who is rude or drew on the wall. But it is a totally inappropriate way to deal with violent and sexual offenders.

‘The use of community resolutions for crimes of this nature are a huge slap in the face for victims and their families. ‘.

He further added: ‘These offenders should be behind bars and the Home Office should step in now to ensure that police forces are prohibited from using community resolutions for anything but the most trivial of misdemeanours. ‘.

Kevin Moore, a retired detective chief superintendent and former head of Sussex Police CID, explained: « On the face of it the figures appear to be appalling and most members of the public will be concerned why such serious recorded crimes are being finalised through community resolution.

« As a former senior police officer and having led such investigations or supervised others doing so, in my opinion the majority of these cases should culminate in a criminal prosecution. »

The National Police Chiefs’ Council mentioned there was a ‘complexity’ and ‘nuance’ behind the cases that the raw statistics did not reveal.

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