A young person who is charged with, and admits to, a first offence may, depending upon the seriousness of the offence, receive a youth caution or youth conditional caution.
The young person and their parent(s) will have a senior police officer warn the young person about their behaviour leading to the offence and issue the caution.
No further action will be taken with the young person.
A young person may receive a youth conditional caution for a more serious first offence or for a second offence (if they have previously received a youth caution) if they plead guilty. The police will notify the Youth Offending Team within 24 hours of the youth conditional caution being issued. A member of the Youth Offending Team will visit the young offender and their family and undertake an assessment of their risk of re-offending.
The Youth Offending Team will put together a change programme for the young offender. This will include elements of the young person making amends for their actions and work to tackle the risk factors that may lead to offending behaviour.
If a young offender fails to undertake a programme, this will be brought to the attention of the court if they offend again.
A key element of the youth conditional caution is to make amends to the victim. The police and the Youth Offending Team will contact victims (either individuals or business) and ask their views on how the young person can make amends. If there is no identifiable victim the Youth Offending Team will arrange for the young offender to make amends to the community.
Youth cautions and Youth Conditional Cautions fall within the scope of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, so that such cautions are spent at the time they are given and youth conditional cautions, when introduced, will be spent after three months.