Questions over child abuse sentences

A quarter of child abusers avoid court action and are issued with police cautions instead, it emerged today.

Figures provided by 33 police forces show 8,043 people who committed sexual and physical abuse offences against children were charged in the year to April, while 2,764 were given a caution.

The statistics include 20 who raped girls under 16 and eight who attacked young boys.

The shocking figures were provided to The Sun by the 33 forces in a response to a Freedom of Information request.

The data also shows three in five of those who admit child neglect or cruelty avoided court action.

With police charging 1,019 adults while 1,568 were cautioned.

In London, where Baby P was tortured and killed, almost a third of abusers avoided court action.

Quarter of child abusers escape court action and get police cautions instead (Daily Mail, 23 September 2009)