What is a community resolution?
Community Resolutions provide an opportunity for the police to deal with appropriate low-level offences and offenders without recourse to formal criminal justice sanctions. This could include a simple apology, an offer of compensation or a promise to clear up any graffiti or criminal damage as examples.
Many of the crimes the police investigate are not committed by prolific, dangerous offenders. Sometimes they are a momentary lapse in judgement by otherwise law-abiding people.
The decision to give someone a criminal record is not one taken lightly, and the police understand that some victims want an outcome that does not involve a full judicial process.
Why do the police use community resolutions?
Community Resolutions offer victims an informal, flexible response to the matter they have reported. They empower victims by allowing them to have a say in how their matter is dealt with.
At the same time, they offer offenders a ‘second chance’ - an opportunity to make amends for their mistakes without suffering the consequences of a criminal conviction which can dramatically alter future life chances. They provide an opportunity for offenders to better understand the impact they have had on their victims, and to make amends for the harm they have caused.
Community Resolutions also allow officers the opportunity to deal with matters in the quickest, simplest fashion. In doing so, they help to ensure that the officers, who serve the public, are able to do more with their time. However, the need for efficiency should never outweigh the overriding goals of protecting and serving our communities.
Are all offenders suitable for community resolutions?
Community Resolutions are aimed at first-time offenders for less serious offences. Where the offence in question is not serious and appears to be an isolated incident, a Community Resolution offers the offender a ‘second chance’, provided they make amends to the victim.
As a rule, an offender should not receive more than two community resolutions and if a second resolution is given, it should contain an element to address offending behaviour.
Are community resolutions added to police records?
Community resolutions do not constitute a criminal record and are not currently recorded on the Police National Computer. They are however recorded on police information systems and can be accessed for intelligence purposes. A previous Community Resolution will be taken into consideration if further offences are committed.
Do community resolutions show up on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks?
Community Resolutions are not disclosed as part of a standard check. They might be disclosed as part of an enhanced check for certain offences in the ‘relevant information’ section, i.e. the offence has a bearing on the kind of work you are applying for.
Are victims consulted about the decision to issue a Community Resolution?
Once an officer has decided that a Community Resolution would be suitable, under the Victim Code, they will ask the victim how they would prefer the offence to be resolved. There are four possible options, restorative justice, warning and agreement, restoration and rehabilitation. Officers are required to take the victim’s views into consideration but are not bound by them.
What are the different types of community resolutions?
- Restorative Justice meeting or conference
- Victim Awareness Sessions
What happens after a community resolution is completed?
When a Community Resolution is agreed between the Police and a child, they will automatically be referred to the Youth Offending Team (YOT) who would then contact the offender and / or their parents to engage.
What happens if an offender fails to complete the community resolution?
If an offender fails to comply with the agreed outcome, officers can revert to dealing with the incident through the normal criminal justice process. The fact the offender has failed to complete the outcome can be disclosed as part of any subsequent court case.