The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough commissioned Cordis Bright to conduct an independent process and outcomes evaluation of the Conditional Caution scheme which has been introduced in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The scheme aims to use Conditional Cautions as a means to defer prosecution, offer eligible offenders an opportunity to address offending-related needs and thereby reduce reoffending amongst these offenders.
The evaluation included a data study based on Police National Computer data to investigate impact of scheme participation on reoffending rates and patterns for offenders. It also involved a literature review, consultation with key stakeholders involved in designing and implementing the Conditional Caution scheme and with offenders who took part in the scheme, observation of practice and development of case studies focusing on the experience and outcomes for specific offenders.
The final report for the evaluation has now been published and can be downloaded below.
It found evidence that the scheme:
- Is not associated with a lower-than-expected reoffending rate across all offenders who participate, but is associated with a lower-than expected reoffending rate for those at higher risk of reoffending.
- Provides opportunities to build multi-agency partnerships and to start intervening earlier to support offenders to address offending-related needs.
- May be contributing to reduced demand and cost for the criminal justice system by avoiding costs associated with prosecuting the cases for which offenders are now receiving Conditional Cautions.
The findings of the report have informed the ongoing development of the scheme and related services and pathways. A number of recommendations from the evaluation are already being implemented locally.