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.

Panel members

May 2020

Jonathan Mortimer Independent Chair of the Out of Court Disposal Panel
Andy Dukes Team Manager, North Yorkshire Youth Justice Service
Dawn Bargate Victim Support Relationships and Services Manager
Gaynor Stopani Local Criminal Justice board Programme and Performance Advisor, North Yorkshire Police
Hilary Putman Community Member
Leanne McConnell Head of Criminal Justice, North Yorkshire Police
Paul Gregory Deputy Chairman of the North Yorkshire Bench
Sandra Chatters Community Director
Sara Orton Head of the Youth Offending Team, City of York Council
Tina James-McGrath Panel Administrator
Office and Volunteer Manager, Office of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Annual Reports