Police let off 870 sex offenders including five child rapists without punishment or a criminal record ‘because they said sorry’
- Hundreds of sex offenders are avoiding criminal records by ‘saying sorry’
- Police units across UK have allowed rapists, flashers and more to escape justice
- Under a ‘community resolution order’ sex pests can admit guilt and apologise
- Survivors and campaigners have blasted the controversial law as a ‘disgrace’
Hundreds of sex offenders have managed to avoid criminal records by saying sorry for their depraved acts, it was revealed today.
Around 870 cases, which include five instances of child rape, have been dealt with via ‘community resolution’ across Britain in the previous two years.
Under the controversial measure, sex pests admit their guilt and apologise but are never given a permanent criminal record, reports the Mirror.
The victims of their wicked acts are asked for their opinion on the punishment, but official guidance warns their views will ‘not be definitive’.
Normally reserved for the lowest level crimes such as shoplifting, community resolution orders allow criminals who show genuine remorse to escape the full force of the law.
But in some police jurisdictions, the ‘slap on the wrist’ punishment is being used to settle rape, flashing and child grooming cases.
South Yorkshire Police, which faced a barrage of criticism over their bungled Rotherham abuse scandal, has used the scheme in 78 instances where sex crimes were said to have been committed.
Victims, such as Rotherham child sex abuse survivor Sammy Woodhouse, 36, have shared their fury at the controversial orders.
Hundreds of sex offenders have managed to avoid criminal records by apologising for their depraved acts, it was revealed today. [File image]
Victims, such as Rotherham child sex abuse survivor Sammy Woodhouse, 36, have vented their fury at the controversial ‘community resolution’ orders
Other police forces across Britain have been caught using the ‘community resolution’ measure to deal with rape cases.
Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Durham, Cheshire and Nottinghamshire forces used it to deal with cases involving the rape of girls aged under 13.
Similarly, Merseyside officers saw a ‘community resolution’ order as appropriate after a girl aged under 16 was raped.
Police in Norfolk reacted similarly when a young boy was raped, the Mirror reports.
Since 2020, seven cases involving rape – five of which involved children, were resolved using a community resolution order, per Home Office data.
414 sexual assaults, the vast majority (349) committed on girls and women, 23 cases of grooming and 166 of exposure were resolved in this way too.
Dr Alison Heydari, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: ‘Community resolutions and other out of court disposals are used in around one per cent of sexual cases.
‘They may be typically applied where schoolchildren share inappropriate images or in cases of sex between underage children.
We have made it clear out-of-court disposals are not to be used in serious cases.’
But campaigners and MPs have reacted with fury at the news.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper added: ‘It is an absolute disgrace that under this government horrific crimes are going without punishment.
Fiona Mackenzie, of women’s safety campaign group We Can’t Consent To This, said: ‘There is no justice for victims and no protection for the public in letting offenders off if they say sorry.
‘So-called ‘minor’ sexual offences can be a path for offenders who go on to commit more and more serious crimes.’
And the policy has been blasted by Rotherham sex abuse survivor Sammy Woodhouse – who was abused by Arshid Hussain when she was a teenager.
Sammy said: ‘I am furious. It is just insane. Why on earth would you allow a sex offender to say sorry and not be criminalised?
‘I think it’s fine to use this scheme for something like shoplifting. But I am struggling to find words on how I feel about it being used for rapists.
‘What kind of message is this to be sending out? It’s suggesting to sex offenders there will be no real consequences for their actions.’
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