David Hanson MP, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, commenting on the government announcement on a review in to the use of police cautions for criminal offences in England and Wales, said:
"There is a big gap between the rhetoric and reality from Chris Grayling.
"Cautions are not the most appropriate way to tackle serious and sexual crime, and we support any moves to ensure victims get justice.
"But the number of cautions for sexual crimes went up in 2011 after falling for 3 years. Meanwhile the latest figures for 2012 show the proportion of sexual crime offenders getting a caution rather than going to court has actually gone up.
"The truth is that far fewer cases are going to court under this Government and far fewer crimes are being solved.
"The police face such big cuts that they are under pressure to cut corners and find the fastest way to deal with problems even if justice isn't always done.
"The Government is cutting 15,000 police officers, while 30,000 fewer crimes were solved in the last year.
"Simply telling the police not to use cautions won't solve the problem - especially if it means some criminals get off with no sanction at all. Care must especially be given when cautions are handed to repeat or persistent offenders.
"Instead the Government need to introduce proper national standards to deal with sexual crimes, and they need to reduce the scale of cuts to police officers which is putting justice at risk.”