Fury as rapists escape punishment if they apologise with over 800 let off

RAPISTS are escaping punishment if they APOLOGISE – with more than 800 sex offenders free to roam the streets, reports claim.

Around 870 fiends – including five child rapists – are said to have been dealt with by "community resolution" over the past two years.

This involves the suspect admitting their guilt and saying sorry so they can be let off without a criminal record.

The scheme is meant to be used for cuffing off low level crimes such as shoplifting but some police forces are applying to rape, flashing and child grooming cases, the Mirror reports.

South Yorkshire Police, which came under fire for its handling of the bungled Rotherham grooming probe, dealt with 78 sex crimes using community resolution.

While officers in Durham, Cheshire and Nottinghamshire used the scheme for the rape of girls aged under 13.

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In Merseyside, the rape of a girl aged under 16 was left alone after the culprit owned up and apologised.

Derbyshire and Devon and Cornwall allowed community resolution in rape offences, while Norfolk cops applied it to the rape of a young boy.

Home Office figures show seven rape cases – five involving children – were dealt with using community resolution since 2020.

In total, there were 414 sexual assaults – 349 on girls and women – and 23 cases of grooming wound down in the same way.

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The shocking numbers also reveal 166 complaints of exposure or voyeurism were dealt with using the scheme.

Some of the offences reportedly related to sex acts between children.

Campaigners have now slammed police forces across the country for the "absolute disgrace".

Fiona Mackenzie, from We Can’t Consent To This, said: “There is no justice for victims and no protection for the public in letting offenders off if they say sorry.

"So-called ‘minor’ sexual ­offences can be a path for offenders who go on to commit more and more serious crimes.”

While Rotherham victim Sammy Woodhouse blasted South Yorkshire Police for letting predators walk free following the grooming scandal.

She told the paper: "I am furious. It is just insane. Why on earth would you allow a sex offender to say sorry and not be criminalised?

“I think it’s fine to use this scheme for something like shoplifting. But I am struggling to find words on how I feel about it being used for rapists.

“We are always told that lessons have been learned.

“In the case of South Yorkshire Police, this shows lessons haven’t been learned at all.

“What kind of message is this to be sending out? It’s suggesting to sex offenders there will be no real consequences for their actions. It’s giving them a free pass.”

Dr Alison Heydari, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said the resolutions are used in "around one per cent of sexual cases".

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She added: “They may be typically applied where schoolchildren share inappropriate images or in cases of sex between underage children.

"We have made it clear out-of-court disposals are not to be used in serious cases.”

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