Britain’s Soft Justice: A Million Crimes Handled with ‘Slap on the Wrist

Soft Justice Unveiled

Almost a million individuals, including sex offenders, shoplifters, and drug users, have received what’s being termed a ‘slap on the wrist’ for a wide range of offenses.

These lenient resolutions are known as community resolutions, designed for low-level crimes.

Understanding Community Resolutions

Community resolutions are out-of-court agreements that spare offenders from acquiring a criminal record or having their actions appear on a background check (DBS).

Initially intended for minor crimes, these resolutions have been applied to a surprising array of cases.

Rise in ‘Soft Justice’

Data obtained by MailOnline reveals a significant 40% increase in the use of community resolutions by British police over the past six years.

This surge in leniency raises questions about the effectiveness of this approach.

The Role of Police

One anonymous police officer sheds light on the use of community resolutions, suggesting they are sometimes employed when officers are unwilling to engage in extensive paperwork.

This insider’s perspective provides insight into the practice’s widespread use.

Top Ten Police Forces Employing Community Resolutions

MailOnline’s investigation unveils the police forces that have employed community resolutions most frequently as a percentage of cases requiring police action.

These findings shed light on regional variations in this approach.

Controversial Use in Sexual Offenses

While community resolutions were initially intended for minor offenses, data indicates they have been used in over 500 sex offense cases across the UK in the 2022/23 financial year.

This raises concerns about the appropriateness of this approach for such serious crimes.

Impact on Victims

The debate surrounding community resolutions also considers the impact on victims. Some argue that using these resolutions for sexual offenses may minimize the severity of the crimes and deter victims from seeking justice.

Stricter Guidance and Controversial Cases

The Ministry of Justice issued a new code of practice aimed at providing stricter guidance to police regarding the use of community resolutions.

Despite this, their widespread use continues, even in serious cases.

Calls for Accountability

Critics argue that serious criminal offenses, particularly sexual assaults on children, should not be resolved with community resolutions.

They emphasize the importance of delivering justice to victims and preventing further harm.

The Retail Perspective

Community resolutions are also applied to offenses such as assault, criminal damage, and shoplifting. Retail organizations call for greater prioritization of retail crime by the police and argue that prolific or violent offenders should face court proceedings.

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