Number: F0400 Date Published: 6 August 2021 Version 2 – August 2021
1.0 Summary of Changes
On its review the only amendment has been within section 2, removing the date when Essex Police adopted the Adult Two-Tier Framework etc.
2.0 What this Policy is About
This policy gives guidance on the procedures by which Essex Police will deal with the out of court disposals (OOCD) that can be attributed to investigations when the suspect is an ADULT and is processed within the custody environment or as a suspect who has been interviewed voluntarily. This policy will govern the Out of Court Disposals available.
Essex Police have adopted the Adult Two-Tier OOCD Framework and no longer use Cannabis/KHAT Warnings, or Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND). Essex will retain the use of the Simple Caution for cases of Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime only. This is because Conditional Cautions are not currently permitted in these cases unless exceptional circumstances exist. When seeking a conditional caution in exceptional circumstances authority must be sought from CPS.
Simple Cautions remain an option for Domestic Related or Hate Crime offences, if authorised by the appropriate ranking officer which must be an Inspector or above or in some cases the CPS
For the majority of cases the only Out of Court Disposals available are Community Resolutions and Conditional Cautions
Community Resolutions (CR) are to be used for low-level offending where the public interest would not best be served by prosecution - the decision to give a CR and the actual delivery can be made by a Constable in consultation with their supervisor.
Conditional Cautions (CC) are to be used for offences where a prosecution would normally be considered but where the public interest is better served by the offender complying with suitable conditions - the decision to give a CC and the actual delivery must be made by a Sergeant (although some more serious offences require an Inspector's authority or that of the CPS). A VCA1 (victim consultation agreement must be used, completed and uploaded to the case).
Out of Court disposal for Youth are subject to a separate policy.
Compliance with this policy and any linked procedures is mandatory.
3.0 Statement of Policy
Essex Police is committed to ensuring that during the investigation of an offence where the outcome of the investigation allows for an out of court disposal to be considered that a procedure is in place to allow victims and witnesses the opportunity to have a say in how the person responsible is punished for the offence(s) committed.
The decision to implement a Community Resolution or a Conditional Caution will be made by the appropriate ranked officer and delivered in line with national guidance.
4.0 Implications of the Policy
4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other
There are no financial implications as a result of the implementation of this policy.
Police officers will be appropriately trained to deliver the out of court disposals and to record them against the crimes being detected. Custody Officers already receive this training as part of their role.
Training of new staff will be completed by experienced operators both in the procedures of conducting a Community Resolution or Conditional Caution.
4.2 Risk Assessment(s)
Some parts of this process occur whilst the suspect is in custody albeit that the suspect will be compliant. Officers undertaking this process will ensure that sufficient staff are in attendance to ensure the safety of all concerned.
Where out of court disposals are administered outside of the custody environment, the officer delivering the Community Resolution or Conditional Caution will be responsible for the safety of all those involved in the process. No risk has been identified in the actual policy.
4.3 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – requested
This policy was approved at COG and Chief Officer level.
6.0 Monitoring and Review
Compliance with this policy will be monitored and reviewed by the Criminal Justice Command every 2 years.
7.0 Related Force Policies or Related Procedures
F 0401 Procedure - Simple Cautions
F 0402 Procedure - Conditional Cautioning
F 0403 Procedure – Youth Out of Court Disposals
F 0404 Procedure - Community Resolutions
7.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
7.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
8.0 Other Source Documents, e.g. Legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Partnership Agreements, Force Forms (if applicable)