Thousands of sex offenders receive cautions
Almost 8,000 sex offenders have received a police caution rather than being charged in the past five years, it emerged today.
The crimes include 230 rapes and almost 2,000 offences involving children, a survey of police forces in England found.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) insisted offenders were not being "let off", since the caution would still be noted on a criminal record and they would be entered on the sex offenders register.
Other offences that attracted a caution involved child pornography, bigamy, exploitation of prostitution, indecent exposure, acts against animals, sexual grooming and incest.