Independent crime panel to examine out of court deals for offenders

Darlington and Stockton Times: Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan

A special scrutiny panel is being set up in North Yorkshire to look at out of court disposals after concerns were raised by magistrates and the public.

The orders are used by the police to deal with low level and first time offending.

Instead of going to court and being prosecuted offenders can be given cautions or penalties and community resolution orders, if they admit what they have done. Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, announced the new panel will be set up under an independent chair, the post is unpaid, but expenses will be reimbursed.

It’s been set up after concerns about the use of the orders. The aim is the panel will be able to look independently at them to ensure they are appropriate, effective and in line with the wishes of victims. The idea of the Disposal orders is it allows the police to spend more time on frontline duties and tackling serious crime.

Julie Mulligan said: “The public and magistrates have raised concerns with me for some time about the use of Out of Court Disposals, and this is an important step to ensuring they are used appropriately and scrutinised independently.

We need to be certain that victims of crime are at the heart of these decisions, and that offenders are getting a suitable punishment for their crime.

The independent Chair will lead the Panel, making recommendations to the various organisations with responsibility for Out of Court Disposals, learning from best practice and making sure victims are front and centre of this process.”

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