Influencing youth justice decisions

Community Resolution

What is Community Resolution?

Community Resolution is a new approach to dealing with minor offences, such as trivial thefts, public disorder, criminal damage (such as vandalism), and inconsequential assaults. It is also an alternative to a Reprimand, which is the regular legal consequence imposed on young first time offenders.

How does it work?

Instead of the offence being handled by the justice system, a Community Resolution is issued by the police officer dealing with the crime, which results in the officer deciding an appropriate manner for the offender to redeem himself/herself before the victim.

A decision is reached by consulting with the victim and must be accepted by the offender in order for it to take effect. It can consist of receiving advice about their behaviour and how that behaviour affects other people, a verbal or written apology to the victim, reparation (which can include fixing material damages) or financial compensation. The offender’s history is considered as well as the possible history between the offender and victim.

Diverting the offender to an appropriate health service to address vulnerabilities and therefore reduce possible reoffending can also be considered as a community resolution.

Additionally, if police community support officers, local authorities and other statutory partners are aware of diversion they may use it to support young people who come to their attention for anti social behaviour. Diversion into evidence based interventions such as alcohol abuse services and parenting support, will be beneficial in preventing future offending, alongside any civil remedy such as an Anti Social Behavioural Order (ASBO).

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