Out of court disposals
Out of Court Disposals allows the police and Youth Offending Service to deal quickly with low-level offences without a need for a young person to go to court. Out of Court Disposals enables reparation for the victim to the offence and the opportunity for the young person to address the causes to their offending behaviour by diverting them to other services. Out of Court Disposals are not intended for serious offending matters.
- Any young person not committing a serious offence and between the ages of 10- 17 years who makes an admission to an offence can be considered for an Out of Court Disposal
- All young people will be required to go through an assessment with the Youth Offending Service prior to receiving an Out of Court Disposal
This is a non-statutory order, therefore, does not form as part of a criminal record, however, can be disclosed in an enhance DBS check depending on the nature of the offence. A young person will need to admit to the offence, have no relevant offending history, and consent to accepting the triage. This can proceed without victim consent. Young people will be expected to engage with the Youth Offending Service, whereby, a plan of activities will be put in place for the young person and their family where required.
Forms part of the young person’s criminal record and can be disclosed to employers in some circumstances. Young person is referred to the Youth Offending Service for assessment and intervention. This Out of Court Disposal is immediately ‘spent’ on completion of the engagement with the Youth Offending Service.
Youth Conditional Caution
This is a statutory disposal and young person must comply with the conditions of this disposal. Youth Conditional Cautions have conditions attached for the young person to engage with the Youth Offending Service in order to address their offending behaviour. Failure to work with the Youth Offending Service can see the young person before the courts for the original offence.
It is important to avoid criminalising young person unnecessarily and given the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Sometimes a young person may enter a plea of guilt on the day of the court hearing for first offence. If this is a low-level offence, the courts will consider an assessment by the Youth Offending Service is completed before sentencing is carried out as to the suitability of the young person to receive an Out of Court Disposal. Section 10 is proof of formal admission in criminal trials. It must be made in writing and relate to facts only.
The Court will adjourn the case, a young person signs the Section 10 document in the presence of an adult admitting the offence, the case is then sent to the Youth Offending Service in the area of which the young person lives and a practitioner from the Youth Offending Service will assess the young person, parent/carer and feed this information back to the court. There is no need for the young person to appear before the court again if the Out of Court Disposal is granted.