Children aged 10 – 17 years old can be given a youth conditional caution if they admit a criminal offence.
A youth caution is a formal out of court disposal. Youth conditional cautions are a caution with one or more conditions attached. If a child does not keep to the conditions they could be prosecuted for the original offence.
When a person who is authorised to give a youth conditional caution is deciding whether a youth conditional caution is appropriate for a child, they should refer the matter to the Youth Offending Team (YOT) for an assessment. The final decision lies with the decision-maker, but the YOT’s recommendations should be taken into account. A child must have an appropriate adult if they are given a youth conditional caution. Unlike the youth caution, a child must consent to the youth conditional caution and the conditions attached.
A child may decide at any stage to withdraw from the youth conditional caution, whether before, during or after it has been administered.
A youth conditional caution remains on a child’s criminal record. It will be considered spent three months after it is issued but it will automatically appear on any standard or enhanced criminal record check (Disclosure and Barring Service check) unless it is filtered.