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Several recent questions have elicited answers mentioning out of court disposals. What are these?

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They are a proportionate process for concluding an investigation in to low-level offending without the need for a trail. Or as Avon and Somerset Police put it:

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

South Yorkshire Police offers this:

Out of Court Disposals (“OOCD’s”) are one of several methods of concluding criminal investigations without proceeding to a formal court prosecution.  They are administered to offenders to enable the police to deal proportionately with mainly (but not exclusively) low-level, often first-time offending and with a view to maximising victim satisfaction whilst addressing the offending behaviour and criminogenic needs of the offender.

South Yorkshire Police currently operates a 5 tier framework for Adult OOCD's for those offenders aged 18 years and over.  This includes;

  • Adult ‘Simple’ Caution,

  • Adult Conditional Caution,

  • Community Resolution,

  • Penalty Notice for Disorder and

  • Cannabis/Khat Warning.

As well as repeating the above, the Sentencing Council's Introduction to out of court disposals includes:

Local authorities and other land managers can also issue fixed penalty notices as an alternative to prosecution for certain environmental and other anti-social behaviour offences.

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