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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The rioters who escaped with a slap on the wrist: Police hand out cautions for arson, burglary and knife possession

Dozens of criminals arrested after the summer riots have been let off with a ‘slap on the wrist’ for offences including arson, knife possession and burglary.

A total of 66 rioters were given no more than a caution.

The figures provoked anger, with critics saying the light punishments were at odds with public demands for the toughest penalties for riot yobs.

To accept a police caution, offenders must admit guilt to police.

They are then given a formal warning. Apart from the caution remaining on their record they suffer no other penalty.

Damage done by rioters is expected to cost the Government more than £100million because taxpayers are required to cover the costs under the 1886 Riot Act.

In the wake of the street violence, which started in London and spread to other major cities over four days in August, senior politicians joined calls for the toughest possible penalties for riot thugs.

Judges and magistrates across the country threw sentencing guidelines out of the window and handed down stiff punishments to rioters. Read More