Out-of-court disposals allow the police to deal quickly and proportionately with less serious, and often first-time, offending which can be resolved without a prosecution at court.

The following disposals are available to the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS):
  • Community Resolutions – adults (18+) and youths;
  • Cannabis Warnings – adults (18+);
  • Penalty Notices for Disorder – adults (18+);
  • Youth Cautions – youths (10-17);
  • Simple Cautions – adults (18+);
  • Conditional Cautions – adults (18+) and youths (10-17).

What is a Community Resolution and when is it used?

Community Resolutions may be used to deal with less serious offences, such as low value theft, minor assaults, low level criminal damage or incidents of anti-social behaviour.

With the agreement of the victim, offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their offending behaviour and make good any harm caused, with the aim of reducing their likelihood of reoffending.

How does it work?

Instead of the offence being prosecuted through the courts, the police officer dealing will decide if a Community Resolution is an appropriate manner for the offender to redeem themselves before the victim. The decision is reached in consultation with both the victim and offender who must each agree to this course of action. The officer will then stipulate what actions or remedy the offender must take.

If the officer deems that the victim’s wishes are exaggerated or unjustified, they may still proceed with a Community Resolution in accordance with their own conclusions.

The offender must then complete the actions set out within the Community Resolution agreement as any failure to so will result in more formal action being taken through the criminal justice system.

Anti-social behaviour powers

Anti-social behaviour powers, which came into force in October 2014, shape the way the police, local authorities, health partners and social housing providers respond to anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The reforms were designed to empower victims of ASB and give them a say on how perpetrators are punished.

Of particular significance are powers for victims of ASB and hate crime to demand action if they are unsatisfied with how their case is handled, beginning with a case review, known as the ASB Case Review 

The powers also provide a list of punishments from which victims can choose, known as the Community Remedy