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)

How community resolution works

Community Resolutions are a relatively new way 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 offenders.

How does it work?

Instead of the offence being handled by the justice system, a Community Resolution is issued by the police officer called in to deal with the crime, by which the officer decides an appropriate manner for the offender to redeem himself/herself before the victim. The decision is reached by consulting with the victim and must be accepted by the offender in order to take effect.

A Community Resolution can only be issued after consulting the victim. Normally, the officer’s decision is made in concordance with the victim’s wishes; however, should they be exaggerated or not justifiable, the officer can disregard them and proceed according to his own conclusions. It is mandatory for the offender to agree, as well as to complete the Resolution, as in case they fail to do so, that will result in an imminent forwarding of the case to the justice system.

New anti-social behaviour powers

New anti-social behaviour powers came into force on October 20th, 2014, which shape the way the police, local authorities, health partners and social housing providers respond to anti-social behaviour (ASB).

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

Of particular significance were new 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 Community Trigger. Find out more here.

The powers also provide a list of punishments from which victims can choose, known as the Community Remedy. Find out more here.

In an emergency call


In a non emergency call


Call Crimestoppers on

0800 555 111

Contact Stop Hate UK

0800 138 1625

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