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Response to media reporting of police use of community resolutions

17 Jun 2019

New data released today (Monday 17 June) shows the use of community resolutions by police, prior to a new national strategy on out of court disposals being introduced in 2018

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Charging and Out of Court Disposals, Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen said:

"Community resolutions help police handle low-level offending proportionately. They can involve making amends, apologising or completing educational courses. Victims’ wishes are central to our decision-making and officers have established tools and guidance to help them to reach the right outcome. Our decisions are examined by force scrutiny panels."

Responding to BBC data which pre-dated the introduction of the new national strategy for charging and out of court disposals, DCC Glen added:

"We anticipate that the number of community resolutions used for indictable offences will further decrease as our new national strategy on out of court disposals is implemented by forces. Community resolutions for the very few serious cases considered must be authorised by an officer of a rank not lower than Inspector and we conduct thematic reviews to ensure compliance. 

"Our national strategy makes clear community resolutions should not be used in the most serious cases. Officers are making decisions about whether it is fair and proportionate to give someone a criminal record for their first minor offence – when they’ve admitted responsibility, offered to remedy the crime, are considered unlikely to reoffend, and can be given a sanction that deters further offending.

"These figures show that around three per cent of crime is dealt with in this way, and that community resolutions are used in one per cent of sexual offence cases. When this occurs each force will scrutinise the decision to ensure that it is appropriate in the circumstances. The majority in this bracket relate to sexual offences between children and young people, which we would classify as peer on peer - where we have juveniles who are in relationships but are not yet at the age of consent."