Proceed with caution: use of out-of-court disposals in England & Wales

Document type
Report
Author(s)
Sosa, Karen
Publisher
Policy Exchange
Date of publication
1 July 2012
Subject(s)
Criminal Justice Services, Offenders
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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Since the early 2000s, the use of out-of-court penalties as a quick means of disposing of offences has been a haphazard practice, resulting in wide variations across police forces in the frequency with which these penalties are applied. More often than not, cautions are used to deal with repeat offenders, and penalty notices are frequently unpaid and unprosecuted, rendering them meaningless. Improved guidance and accountability is needed to ensure the effective use of these disposals.

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