New Crime Statistics Agency research finds cautioned youth less likely to reoffend

The Crime Statistics Agency has today released its ninth ‘In Brief’ paper, which explores the use of police cautions for youth in Victoria.

The research found that 56% of the study cohort received a caution and the remaining 44% were charged by police. In the following twelve months 36% of young people who received a caution reoffended, compared with 48% of those who were formally charged by police. After twelve months half the young people who were charged by police were recorded for five or more further offences, while only one-third of those who were cautioned reoffended with the same intensity. 

The research also considered the types of offences recorded for the young people who reoffended during the twelve month follow-up period. Charged young people were more likely to commit all offence types within the follow-up period than young people who received a caution. Specifically, the largest differences were recorded in the reoffending rates of theft, property damage and assault offences, which were up to 56% higher for charged young people compared with cautioned young people.

The paper The Cautious Approach: Police cautions and the impact on youth reoffending is available here

The media release is available here.