London: Thousands of criminals in Britain, including rapists, burglars and arsonists, are managing to escape a stay in jail as they are being let off with just a slap on the wrist, official statistics have revealed.
Labour`s Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter unearthed figures showing over 400 sex offenders who admitted having committed or attempted rape over the past 15 years walked free after being given a caution by police, Daily Express reported.
During the same period over 90,000 burglaries, almost 8,000 serious assaults and 7,000 robberies were dealt with by cautions, along with more than 500,000 acts of vandalism and arson attacks.
Slaughter said: "There is a place for cautions in the criminal justice system, but it is inappropriate to use them for very serious crimes and where the offences should come before a court."
Traditionally, cautions are usually handed out for minor, first-time offences.
"Most decent-minded people will find it hard to understand how rape or attempted rape can ever justify a caution," said Conservative MP Nick de Bois.