Minor offences can be dealt with by a police officer giving an 'on the spot' warning, known as an informal police caution [see Young Offenders Act 1993 (SA) s 6]. No punishment can be imposed if an informal caution is given but the youth should clearly understand the nature of the offence and the consequences of further similar behaviour.
No 'official record' is kept but the police are required to record the informal caution in their patrol log and report it to the appropriate Divisional Intelligence Officer for recording. They will also deliver or post a 'Notice to Guardian of Informal Police Caution' to the youth's parent or guardian. This record does not constitute a criminal record and can not be used in any court proceedings without the consent of the youth [s 6]. No further proceedings may be taken against the youth for the offence for which the youth was cautioned.
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