Conditional cautions were established by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. In appropriate cases they can be used as a means to divert from court those whose offending is serious enough to warrant prosecutions, but who are prepared to admit their offence and agree to undertake rehabilitative or reparative activities as a condition of being cautioned.
Unlike the simple caution, the decision whether or not to offer a conditional caution can only be taken by a prosecutor either as part of the Statutory Charging process or on review of a case charged by the police.
Conditional cautioning was trialled in seven areas around the country in 2005 and is now being rolled out across all 42 Areas.
As part of its commitment to engage with all sections of the community, the CPS has produced an awardwinning video, Just Deserts, which is aimed at 14-16 year olds. Designed to fit in with the Citizenship module of the National Curriculum, Just Deserts is available on video and DVD. Contact your local CPS Area or e-mail the CPS Publicity Branch (email@example.com).
The CPS publishes a number of publications of interest to the public, including Householders and the use of force against intruders and leaflets outlining the CPS policy for dealing with cases of rape and domestic violence, and with homophobic and racist crime. There is also a new publication detailing the CPS policy on prosecuting cases involving children and young people. Contact the Publicity Branch (see above) for more information, or go to the Publications - Prosecution policy and guidance section on this website.