What is community resolution?


What is community resolution?

It means you making amends directly to the victim in your case rather than being dealt with in the criminal justice system.

Examples of community resolution are as follows:

  • Making a verbal or written apology to the victim
  • Repairing the harm you have caused
  • Paying compensation to the victim

What offences can be dealt with by community resolution?

The following offences may be dealt with by community resolution: low level thefts, public order offences, low level assaults and criminal damage.

When can offences be dealt with by way of community resolution?

The following conditions need to be satisfied:

  • The police officer dealing with the matter decides it is the appropriate way to deal with the offence
  • The victim must be consulted by the officer, albeit the officer has the final decision on whether to proceed with community resolution
  • You have to agree you have committed the offence and agree to participate in the community resolution

If I have a criminal record can the matter still be dealt with by community resolution?

Yes. Having a criminal record does not prevent the matter being dealt with in this way.  The officer in the case will consider your offending history and whether community resolution will minimise your risk of re-offending.

I have already received a community resolution for a previous offence will this stop my new offence being dealt with in this way?

No, but if the previous offence was in the last twelve months it is unlikely that the officer in the current case would deem you were suitable for such a disposal now.

What if I don’t participate and comply with the community resolution when it’s offered?

If you have not been arrested for the offence(s), the officer could then consider whether to then arrest you.

If you have already been arrested and interviewed or interviewed as a volunteer, you may be suitable for a reprimand or final warning (if you are a youth), or a caution (if you are an adult). If not, you may be charged or summonsed which means you would then have to attend court. Your failure to comply could be referred to at the court case.

Will I have a criminal record?

Community resolution is not a criminal conviction and although the crime will be recorded by the police, this will not give you a criminal record. You don’t have to declare it for travel purposes or to an employer unless your job requires an enhanced criminal records bureaux check as it is disclosable on such a check.

If you are dealt with by way of community resolution and are subsequently arrested for any new offence this be taken into account by the police when deciding how to deal with your new offence.

Whilst you will avoid a criminal record, a community resolution can in certain cases be referred to by way of bad character evidence in any subsequent trial.

What are the advantages of community resolution as compared to other ways my case can be dealt with?

  • If you are not arrested, you will avoid having your DNA, fingerprints, and photograph taken by the police.
  • It will not provide you with a criminal record

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