The Daily Telegraph

Record number of criminals let off with apology to victim

- By Charles Hymas

MORE THAN one in seven criminals, including robbers and sex offenders, are being let off with an apology as police avoid clogging up the courts with prosecutio­ns, official figures show.

Ministry of Justice (MOJ) data has revealed nearly 143,000 people accused of offences including violence, sex crimes and possession of weapons were not prosecuted and instead were issued with community resolution­s which do not result in a criminal record.

It is the highest number of community resolution­s on record, up 9.7 per cent on the previous year, and accounts for more than one in seven of all the 1.37million offences in the year to September 2022.

Offenders handed community resolution­s agree to say sorry face-to-face to those they have wronged and may be ordered to pay compensati­on or carry out a reparation. But they avoid a criminal record as they are not taken to court and do not receive a police caution.

The news comes as it emerged that crown courts ended 2022 with a near record backlog of almost 62,000 cases, with victims being forced to wait, on average, nearly a year for justice.

Although they are designed for “minor” offences, the MOJ data shows that a record 42,016 offences of violence against a person in the year to September resulted in a community resolution, up 11 per cent on the previous year.

Meanwhile, the number of theft offences resulting in community resolution­s rose by 25 per cent, to 15,459.

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