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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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, I am in a position where someone has contacted the police

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Hello, I am in a position where someone has contacted the police over a provoked non-violent offense that I have caused which even the PC I have spoken to has said that he does not want to have to caution me for. He is hoping that the other party will calm down so that he only has to list the incident as a community reconciliation. I understand that you do not know the full details, however, I need to know if the police still have to caution just because the other party is insisting on it? If the PC says that he needs to caution me can I contest this and will the fact that I may have a caution against me cause me problems with travelling abroad, gaining finance etc. I am very desperate and although I am very ashamed of my actions it was provoked which the PC fully understands. Thank you for your help and I am very grateful
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Police officers very rarely want to deal with this trivial twaddle.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The PC has said that he doesn't want to caution me he understands why I reacted towards the other person as I did. What I really need to know is if the police still have to caution me just because the other party is insisting on it? If the PC says that he needs to caution me can I contest this and will the fact that I may have a caution against me cause me problems with travelling abroad, gaining finance etc? The incident involved some 11 year old boys in my sons class bullying him over a period of time and then finally writing some extremely threatening and disgusting messages on Instagram. I read the messages whilst walking my son to school and as so upset and angry that I confronted one of the boys. I did not push, punch or hurt him physically in anyway, however, I did hold him on the shoulders so that I knew I had his attention whilst warning him to stay away from my son. I cannot excuse my actions, however, the threats were real and I naturally wanted to protect my son which the PC and the school understand. Can my wife and I tell me the PC that we in fact want the boys cautioned for their messages. The head teacher read them and thought them serious enough to contact the Police. Sorry for all the question but as you can tell I am rather upset and desperate. Many thanks

No, they don't. CPS should consider the views of the victim but it is just one factor to consider and some victims are unreasonable.
However, that does not mean they will not. Do not rely on that. Just because the officer takes the view it is all a waste of time does not mean there is anything he can do about it.
You don't have to accept a caution. You should only be doing that if you are guilty and the evidence is admissible and overwhelming. It is only a good deal in those circumstances.
They are not going to caution an 11 year old child for sending objectionable messages on social media I'm afraid. That really would be a waste of resources. There is even a move to try to stop wasting resources upon the pursuit of adults who send unfavourable messages on social media.
If the allegation is to be that you held a child by the shoulders and you are male and an adult then realistically that is a common assault I'm afraid. It is a very trivial one but it is a common assault. If you refuse a caution then you run the risk of being charged. Whether you would or not is another matter. The aggravation lies in the fact that he is a child. It is probably 50-50. If you get a sensible CPS reviewer then they would take no further action. Not all CPS reviewers are sensible though.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your response Jo. If the PC says that he needs to caution me can I say that I will be taking legal advice? And if so, may this avert any action by the other party due to the costs that they / we may incur? I am sorry if I sound like I'm trying to wriggle out of this mess but unfortunately I need to make some informed decisions. Thank you again

He depends in what context he has said this.
If he means he needs to question you under caution then that is right and will happen whether you agree or not. If you don't co-operate they will just arrest you.
If he means that he needs to dispose of this by means of a caution then he knows perfectly well that you have to admit the offence and agree to a caution.
There won't be any costs in this for either side.
Police cautions are generally better than a conviction but they are not a commendation.
Whether you would be charged really depends. If it is accepted that all you did was hold his shoulders then there is case law that would suggest that is acceptable touching. He is probably making some allegation that t was more forceful than that though. I am not sure they would particularly want an 11 year old giving evidence though.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am sure that the PC meant that he would like to dispose of this by way of a caution. He actually said that he would not arrest me or that this would ever go to court (his words). I got the feeling that he would rather this just went away so it's really down to the other party I guess. I have written a letter to the family sincerely ***** ***** the PC hopes will help settle things down. I'm very grateful for your responses and it has been very useful just to understand where I stand on a number of points.

Yes, he probably does think he is helping by offering a caution but the point is that it isn't a commendation and you don't really want it on your record and your goal should not be appeasing a police officer.
It might be the only option. You don't deny laying hands upon him. If you have set down something damaging in that letter then that is a problem. It depends whether what you have said comes within the case law or not. It is a shame that you have committed yourself to writing but you can't undo that now.
You will have to be interviewed under caution anyway. Just make sure you have the solicitor that you will be offered who an assess all the evidence.
Anything could happen. The driving force will be the parents. 11 years old do not go charging down to the police station to make reports against adults unless they have lived in a house where mummy is always calling the police every time she can't have what she wants. They may well not be happy to have him give evidence in court.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo. I was always mindful when I wrote a letter of apology to the school and to the parents not to actually go in to too much detail i.e. I said this and held him like this etc. I referred to what happened as an incident and did not go in to the detail. Ok, so if the PC says that he needs to caution me I will need to visit the police station where I will be interviewed and offered a solicitor? I take it that I could take my own solicitor with me?

Yes, take a solicitor with you. You can always use the duty solicitor but then you will have to wait for him to arrive.
Arrange an appointment to attend voluntarily and take a solicitor with you.
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