A Community Resolution is a way of dealing with an offender which is proportionate to lower level crime. It can be offered when the offender admits an offence, in most cases, where the victim has agreed that they do not want more formal action taken.
How Community Resolution Works
As Community Resolution (CR) is a fairly recent method of policing - It is an innovative approach to dealing with minor offences, such as minor thefts, public disorder, criminal damage (such as vandalism) and lower level assaults. It supports the professional judgement of police officers to assess an offence, the wishes of the victim and the offender’s history in order to reach an outcome which best meets the interests of the victim and of the public.
For example, a mother phones the police because her 13 year old son has stolen £5 from her purse, she would like him to be spoken to by an officer. A Community Resolution will allow the officer to ‘tell off’ the suspect regarding their actions but will not force them to disproportionately criminalise young people.
In Lancashire, from October 2013, the following elements can be included, if it is felt necessary, alongside a Community Resolution (CR):
1. Restorative Justice (instant or formal) – parties consent to meet face-to-face with the aim of repairing the harm and seeking a positive way forward; outcome agreements are usually reached. Further information on how we use restorative justice.
2. Police Resolution – considering all factors, the officer determines words of advice are appropriate in this instance
3. Youth Triage – following assessment, a young person (under 18 years) agrees to a program of activities designed with the aim of preventing further offending. Further information can be found below.
Must all parties agree for a Community Resolution to be issued?
Where possible, yes, but not in every case. The offender must always agree, at which point, the officer in case will speak to the victim, talk them through the process. The officer will take their wishes into account and then make a decision on the most suitable way to proceed.
Triage is a national initiative supported by the Youth Justice Board and the Home Office. The aim of Triage is to prevent the unnecessary introduction of young people into the criminal justice system and provide a response that is proportionate to the crime as well as conducting an assessment of their risks and needs in order to reduce the potential for them to re-offend. Working in partnership Headquarters Criminal Justice, CANW (Child Action North West) and the three Youth Offending Teams for Lancashire have developed the protocol and processes for managing Triage in a consistent way across Lancashire.