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Community member – Out of Court Disposal Panel – Role description

To help ensure that Out of Court Disposals, used by the police to deal with low level offending out of court, are appropriately used and have the confidence of the public.

Details

The selection criteria is based on personal qualities rather than professional qualifications.  Experience of working in or for the community would be helpful, but not essential.

Training will form an integral and compulsory part of the recruitment process to ensure that community panel members are equipped with the appropriate skills.

Once recruited, the successful candidate will need to go through normal police vetting processes and sign a confidentiality agreement.

Personal Qualities and Attributes

Motivation

  • An interest in policing and crime issues, and a desire to represent the public to ensure the police service and all their relevant partners e.g. Youth Offending Team, are acting in a way in which communities across North Yorkshire would find appropriate
  • Someone who has an interest in scrutinising casework and decision making, making sure the best possible decision is being made for both victims and offenders.

Good character

  • Personal integrity
  • Discretion and the ability to maintain confidentiality
  • An objective attitude to the use of Out of Court Disposals
  • A respect for different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds
  • Effective communication skills

Understanding and good judgement

  • An ability to understand documents, to identify and digest relevant facts, and to follow arguments
  • An ability to think logically, to weigh arguments and to reach logical conclusions
  • Common sense and realistic expectations

Commitment and reliability

  • A willingness to undertake the required training
  • A commitment to serve as a panel member approximately 4 times per year and to undertake the relevant preparatory work in each case (total of approximately eight working days per year)
  • A commitment to serve for at least two years

About the Out of court Disposals Panel:

The Out-of-Court Disposal’s Scrutiny Panel has been commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, in response to public concerns about the use of case disposals that take place outside the court room in North Yorkshire as a means of bringing offenders to justice.

The scrutiny panel is chaired by an independent member of the public, Jonathan Mortimer, who is distinct from any agency that may be represented on the panel, undertaking the role in a voluntary capacity.  Jonathan is a solicitor based at Raworth’s in Harrogate.

The Panel aims to ensure that the suite of different case disposals taking place outside the court room are appropriate, proportionate and effective, in line with national and local policy and victims’ wishes, where appropriate. The Panel aims to improve public understanding and confidence in these methods of case disposal and also increase transparency, victim trust and satisfaction.

Any Community Member will need to be in a position to attend quarterly meetings in Harrogate, as well as infrequent but important training sessions at Northallerton.

The Panel will not serve to re-judge or change outcomes but will be a mechanism to assess process and identify any learning for agencies that will assist with continuous improvement.

The following overarching principles should normally apply:

  • The outcome should be proportionate to the crime.
  • The expectations of the victim should be considered when deciding an outcome.
  • The causes of the criminal behaviour should be considered and any available intervention provided.
  • The community impact of crime should influence the outcome.
  • The use of restorative justice, where available, and community remedy where appropriate, can be a condition of an Out-of-Court Disposal.
  • The relevant evidential threshold must be met.
  • The history of the offender must be considered.
  • Where required, admissions of offending behaviour.

Excluded occupations:

  • Employees of North Yorkshire Police or any criminal justice partners
  • Solicitors working within criminal law