A referral to PaDs is completed by the Police officer who has dealt with the crime. From there, it is allocated to a seconded Police officer and a PaDs duty worker. A virtual panel takes place wherein a technical, social and health triage is undertaken prior to agreeing an outcome decision. In order to proceed with the referral the following key criteria has to be met;

The outcome decision will take into account the seriousness of the offence using the ACPO gravity matrix framework, previous offending history, public interest, age/welfare/interest of the young person alongside the victim’s views where appropriate. The Outcome decision is a joint decision making process between PaDs and the Police.

 There are various outcomes that are considered and delivered through the Out of Court process;

This is sometimes called a Community Resolution.  It is an outcome more often agreed for low-level offences and can be given more than once. A CRD is an ‘informal’ outcome, which means although it is recorded; a Court won’t be told about it if the child or young person goes to Court later. If a CRD was agreed the young person would be encouraged to engage in some form of resolution or reparative activity if appropriate. A young person who is issued a CRD via a PaDs referral, this is completed on a voluntary basis. A CRD can be delivered directly by the Police officer dealing with the offence and not referred into PaDs.

This is a low level ‘formal’ outcome.  It can be given more than once, but only if the conditions are met.  If the child or young person has to go to Court later, the Court will be told about Youth Cautions. A young person who is issued a Youth Caution via a PaDs referral will be offered intervention and support for up to a 4month period which will be guided by a full ASSET+ assessment, however their engagement is on a voluntary basis. Like a CRD a first Youth Caution can be delivered directly be the Police officer dealing with the offence, however second or subsequent Youth Cautions must always be referred into PaDs.

This is the highest level Out of Court disposal, offering statutory conditions but still diverting the young person from conviction in Court. A full ASSET+ assessment will be completed to gather information about the risks and needs to the young person and identify what conditions are appropriate and proportionate with a view to reducing the likelihood of further offending. The intervention can be imposed for up to a period of four months and levels of contact will be determined by the risks and needs assessed. It is mandatory that the young person complies with conditions and engages with the outcome, failure to do so may result in the matter being proceeded to Court.

Alongside the more common outcomes, consideration is sometimes given to alternative outcomes when appropriate. A joint decision making process between PaDs and the Police include all of the same considerations for any of the OOCD. Some examples of alternative outcomes are;

Outcome 16: Evidential difficulties: suspect identified; victim does not support further action: Evidential difficulties victim based – named suspect identified. The victim does not support (or has withdrawn support from) police action.

Outcome 21: Not in the public interest – suspect identified: Further investigation resulting from the crime report that could provide evidence sufficient to support formal action being taken against the suspect is not in the public interest – police decision.

Outcome 22 – diversionary, educational or intervention activity, resulting from the crime report, has been undertaken and it is not in the public interest to take any further action’.