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Out-of-Court Disposals

Out of court disposals are a way of dealing with less serious offending.

We make our use of out-of-court disposals victim focused - taking into account the full circumstances of the offence, offender and views of the victim.

An offender has to admit they are guilty of an offence to be issued with an out-of-court disposal.

Types of Disposal

Simple Cautions for adult offenders (18+)

The Simple Caution (once known as a formal or police caution) is issued to offenders aged 18 or over and is used for low-level, mainly first time offending.

Simple Cautions do form part of an offender’s criminal record and may count against them if they go on to offend again.

Conditional Cautions for adult offenders (18+)

A Conditional Caution is given with one or more conditions attached. When a Conditional Caution is complied with, the case will not continue at court. However, when conditions are broken, the case will be dealt with at court.

Youths (10-17)

A Youth Caution or Youth Conditional Caution, are formal disposals that can be used as an alternative to going to court for offenders aged 10 to 17. Before these cautions can be given, the youth must admit to the offence and there must be enough evidence to prove the offence.

Youth Conditional Cautions are intended to be a tougher response to offending than a Youth Caution. If the agreed conditions are broken, the offender can go to court for the original offence.

Both cautions are not convictions, and will only appear on your record for two years after the date they were issued, except for serious offences which will remain on your record.

Community Resolutions

A Community Resolution is an informal, victim led way of dealing with less serious crime or anti-social behaviour. Victims must agree and the offender must admit the offence.

A CR is recorded within our local crime and intelligence system, but will not be part of an individual’s criminal record. However, this information may be disclosed if an enhanced check is needed.

Community Remedy

The Community Remedy gives victims a say in the out-of-court punishment of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour. It provides various options which will be offered as an outcome of a Conditional Caution or Community Resolution.

This list has been agreed following community consultation by the Police and Crime Commissioner:

  • Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
  • Restorative Justice
  • Parenting Contracts
  • Reparation
  • Structured Activity
  • Neighbourhood and Community Agreements

You can visit the PCC's website for more information on Community Remedy disposals. 

Cannabis Warnings (18+)

Cannabis Warnings are an informal verbal warning that can be given to anyone over 18 who is caught for a first offence of possession of a small amount of cannabis for personal use.

A Cannabis Warning does not form part of an individual’s criminal record but may be disclosed if an enhanced check is needed.