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Independent Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel

In 2013, the Commissioner set up the Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Panel to independently scrutinise the use of Out of Court Disposals in response to public concerns about their appropriate use. 

The role of the Panel is to ensure that the use of Out of Court Disposals are:

  • appropriate and proportionate,
  • consistent with national and local policy, and
  • considers the victims’ wishes where appropriate.

The Panel does not review individual decisions but assess their appropriate use, highlight examples of good practice and make recommendations for improvement. The Panel consider performance information, and changes to legislation, policy and practice to support them in their role.

The overarching aim of the Panel is to bring transparency to the use of Out of Court Disposals in order to increase understanding and confidence in their use.

The 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.

When scrutinising the use of Out of Court Disposals, 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

Panel members

Out of Court Disposal Panel as at 19 July 2017

Name

Surname

Position

Geoff

Cole

Deputy Chairman of North Yorkshire Youth Panel

Jan

Devos

Community Member

Andy

Dukes

Service Manager, NY Youth Justice Service (West)

Gordon

Martin

Legal Team Manager, Leeds Majistrates Court

Leanne

McConnell

Head of Criminal Justice, North Yorkshire Police

Jonathon

Mortimer

Independent Chair of the Out of Court Disposal Panel

Vikki

O’Brien

Community Director, North Yorkshire, Interserve Justice

Sara

Orton

Head of Youth Offending Team, City of York Council

Hilary

Putnam

Community Member

Gaynor

Stopani

LCJB Programme & Performance Advisor, North Yorkshire Police

Tom

Thorp

Policy & Scrutiny Manager, OPCC NYP

Duncan

Webster

Chairman of the North Yorkshire Magiistrates Bench

Annual Reports