Wilcox, Aidan, Young, Richard and Hoyle, Carolyn (2004) Two-year resanctioning study: a comparison of restorative and traditional cautions. Project Report. The Home Office, London, UK.

cautions. The work follows on from a previous study of restorative cautions in Thames Valley
(Hoyle et al., 2002) which found that around one-quarter of offenders reported that they had
either desisted from crime or reduced their offending at least in part because of the restorative
caution. The aim of the current study was to investigate this finding further through a large-scale
resanctioning study.
The first part of the analysis compared the resanctioning rates of over 29,000 offenders in
Thames Valley and the two comparison forces controlling for relevant offender characteristics.
The second analysis compared the different types of caution within Thames Valley, again
controlling for offender characteristics. The impact of restorative cautioning on various subgroups
of offenders was also considered, as well as the frequency and seriousness of subsequent
offending. Taking the results of the analyses together, there was no evidence to suggest that
restorative cautioning had resulted in a statistically significant reduction in either the overall
resanctioning rate or the frequency or seriousness of offending. Importantly, there was also no
evidence that restorative justice had increased resanctioning rates. Although reliable cost data
were not available, the cost per caution in Thames Valley is likely to have been less than in
comparable schemes. It is also important to note that Hoyle et al. had demonstrated the many
other benefits of the initiative for both victims and offenders.
We would like to acknowledge the support of the Home Office who funded this resanctioning
study. In particular we are grateful to Robert Street, Becca Chapman and Rosalyn Xavier at the
Research Development and Statistics Directorate. Superintendent Mel Lofty, (former) Chief
Inspector Mike Vince, PC Fran Stride and Andrea Hughes from Thames Valley Police kindly
provided access to their restorative cautioning database and also helped locate missing Police
National Computer (PNC) identifiers. We would like to thank Sussex Constabulary (in particular,
Elizabeth Cowlett, Chief Superintendent David Gaylor, David Cook and Mike Hands) and
Warwickshire Constabulary (especially Superintendent Chris Jackson, Gunaid Gharda, Ray
Hewsby, Colin Lovegrove and Richard Angrave) for co-operating with the research. Finally, we
are grateful to Brian Francis who acted as peer reviewer for this study.

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