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Out of Court Punishments

Out of court punishments, or Conditional Cautions as they are better known, is a scheme whereby adult offenders willing to admit their guilt can rehabilitate their actions.

The scheme is aimed at cases where the public interest would be met more effectively by offenders carrying out specified conditions (which are attached to a Caution) rather than being prosecuted.

The conditions must help rehabilitate the offender and/or ensure that he or she makes reparation for the effects of the offence on the victim or the wider community. Offenders who fail to comply with the conditions will usually be prosecuted for the original offence.

Conditional Cautions do not replace the non-statutory police caution (now known as the 'Simple Caution'), which continues to be used in appropriate circumstances.

For the first half of 2010, 92 conditional cautions have been administered for a variety of offences: 

  • 32 Criminal Damage 
  • 21 Thefts 
  • 13 Public Order Offences 
  • 10 Assaults 
  • 10 Possession of Drugs 
  • 05 Drunkenness 
  • 01 Wasting Police Time

Conditions imposed (more than one condition can be administered to one offender): 

  • 53 Compensation (more than £9,500 has been handed back to victims) 
  • 20 Letters of apology 
  • 19 Referrals to Drinksense 
  • 12 Referrals to Drug Intervention Programme 

Conditional Cautions served in Peterborough:


January - March 2011

April - June 2011

July - September 2011

October - December 2011


January - March 2010

April - June 2010

July - September 2010

October - December 2010