Youth caution

The Youth Caution is a statutory out-of-court disposal which replaced Final Warnings and Reprimands in April 2013.

A Youth Caution may be given for any offence when:
  • the young person admits the offence:

  • there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, but it is not in the public interest to prosecute.
The police must notify the youth offending team (YOT) when a Youth Caution is given.


Police officers must have the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service to use a youth conditional caution as an out-of-court disposal for an 'indictable only offence'.

Following a second or subsequent Youth Caution, the YOT must assess the young person and put in place a rehabilitation programme to prevent further offending, where appropriate.

Participation in the interventions attached to a Youth Caution is voluntary and there is no separate penalty for failing to comply with them.

However, failing to comply with the interventions would be a consideration in the choice of any future disposal options.
Youth Justice Board

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