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Reprimand and Final Warning Policy This policy relates to the

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					                             Reprimand and Final Warning Policy


This policy relates to the reprimand and Final Warning Scheme for young offenders
from when they attain the age of 10 years but are under 18 years of age inclusive,
introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
It is an update and replaces CC Orders 2004/27 Appendix A


Introduction
The principal aim of the youth justice system as outlined in section 37 Crime and
Disorder Act 1998 is to prevent offending by children and young people. The Final
Warning Scheme contributes towards the delivery of this aim. In particular, the
objectives of the Final Warning Scheme are to:

     •    End repeat cautioning and provide a progressive response to offending
          behaviour;
     •    Ensure appropriate and effective action when a young person starts to
          offend to help prevent re-offending; and
     •    Ensure juveniles who re-offend after a final warning are dealt with quickly
          and effectively in the court system.

As a result of a review of the current guidance and its operational application by the
police, the Reprimand and Final Warning Policy has been amended in order to
embrace best practice as detailed within the Home Office Circular, The Final Warning
Scheme issued May 2006. The purposes of this circular are to provide additional
guidance and support and in part update the Final Warning Scheme: Guidance for
the Police and Youth Offending Teams published in November 2002.

The policy makes changes in that young persons are to be bailed pending a YOT
assessment prior to receiving a Final Warning and also it allows sergeants and
specially trained constables to administer reprimands and final warnings.

The policy outlines the roles and responsibilities that need to be put in place to create
an effective process that aims to reduce the number of young persons entering the
criminal justice system.

Annexes C and D of Home Office Circular 014/2006 have been agreed with the
Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Crown Prosecution Service
(CPS). These replace the annexes shown in the Final Warning Scheme: Guidance
for the Police and Youth Offending Teams published in November 2002.


Definitions
Reprimand replaces the basic caution. A young offender can receive only one
reprimand.

Final Warning will be given when a young offender:
    • Has previously had one caution or reprimand; or
    • Has not previously had either a caution or a reprimand but has committed
       what is considered to be a more serious offence.

A final warning will trigger an automatic referral to the Youth Offending Team (YOT).




Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                      1
A young offender will normally receive only one final warning unless two years have
elapsed since the previous final warning. A young offender can never receive more
than two final warnings.


                            The decision making process

When can a Reprimand or Final Warning be given.
Section 65(1) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 states that before a reprimand or
final warning can be administered the following criteria must be met:
        There must be
                      a) Evidence that the young person has committed an offence.
                      b) The evidence is such that, if prosecuted for the offence,
                          there would be a realistic prospect of a conviction.
                      c) There is an admission of guilt by the young person.
                      d) The young person has no previous convictions.
                      e) The police must be satisfied that it would not be in the
                          public interest to prosecute the young person.

Who Makes the Decision?
The decision to administer a final warning lies with the police and the
recommendations of the YOT can be taken into consideration. Advice from CPS may
be sought at any time during the investigation, however for ‘indictable only’ offences
CPS have responsibility for deciding how the matter will be concluded.

Where a group of young offenders are dealt with each offender must be considered
individually when deciding the disposals. Different disposal decisions will often be
appropriate.

Young people arrested or reported for multiple offences should be dealt with
generally as for one single “sentencing occasion”. Decision should be based on the
final gravity score of the most serious offence.

Where there is any doubt about whether a prosecution should be brought or a
reprimand/warning given in a particular case, it will often be useful to seek the
opinion of the CPS at an early stage. Whenever a youth is charged because the
police consider that they are unsuitable for a reprimand or final warning, the reasons
for charging should be brought to the attention of the CPS.

However, where the police have made the decision to charge a youth and the CPS
decide it is more appropriate for the youth to be given a reprimand or a final warning,
then the youth shall be given a reprimand or final warning if the young offender
qualifies for one.


Public Interest.
The public interest must be considered in each case where there is enough evidence
to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. Although there may be public interest
factors against prosecution in a particular case, often the prosecution should go
ahead and those factors be put to the court for consideration when sentence is
passed.
 A prosecution will usually take place unless there are clear public interest factors
tending against prosecution, which clearly outweigh those tending in favour, or it



Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                      2
appears more appropriate in all the circumstances of the case to divert the person
from prosecution.
 Crown prosecutors must balance factors for and against prosecution carefully and
fairly. Public interest factors that can affect the decision to prosecute usually depend
on the seriousness of the offence or the circumstances of the suspect. Some factors
may increase the need to prosecute but others may suggest that another course of
action would be better.
Appendix A contains lists of examples where public interest would or would not be
served.


                  Other Matters Influencing the Decision.

Youth Restorative Disposal.
 A Youth Restorative Disposal (YRD) should be issued as a first disposal option,
where all the necessary below criteria are met on divisions where the scheme is in
force;

    •    The young person must be 10-17 years inclusive (up to their 18th birthday) at
         the time of the disposal
    •    A YRD offence has been committed (see in YRD information in LPIB website
         on Intranet)
    •    It is NOT in the public interest to prosecute the young person (Appendix)
    •    There is sufficient evidence, without a PACE interview, to prove the offence
         (that if the case went to court a finding of guilt would be more likely that
         acquittal)
    •    There is a victim and they agree to the YRD process
    •    The young person is compliant with the YRD process and has accepted
         responsibility for their behaviour e.g. shows remorse, accepts the stated
         course of events
    •    The young person is able to understand1 the YRD process


Penalty Notice for Disorder
Penalty Notice for Disorder should only be issued to 16 and 17-year old offenders for
minor, straightforward offence, where the offence does not form part of a pattern of
offending behaviour, and greater intervention is not needed (e.g. a ‘one-off’ single
incident).

 All current forms of disposal remain available and the option to issue a penalty
notice or deal with the case in any other way will be the officer’s discretion. Powers of
Arrest, Reprimand and Final Warning arrangement remain unchanged and should be
used where appropriate.

PNDs are not intended to replace Reprimands and Final Warnings. Where offenders
appear to be vulnerable and in need of intervention, PND’s should not be used.
Officers should use the existing forms of disposal to ensure that where it is more
appropriate for intervention to take place it does so.


1
  The young person must not be under the influence of drink or drugs. If mental impairment or
language is a barrier to their understanding of the process the officer in charge may defer, if
appropriate, the process, to issue the YRD in the presence of an interpreter, appropriate adult etc.


Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                                     3
     Knife-Crime offences
     Offences involving the use of knives will be dealt with as follows:

     •    The first arrest of a youth under 16 for simple possession of an Offensive
          Weapon or Sharp Pointed Blade, with no aggravating factors, will result in
          the first instance with a Final Warning. This must be supported by an
          appropriate YOT intervention, preferably with elements focused on anti knife
          crime education. A youth aged 16 or over would normally be charged.
     •    The second arrest of a youth under 16 for simple possession of an Offensive
          Weapon or Sharp Pointed Blade will result in a charge (unless, in exceptional
          circumstances, 2 years have passed and it was considered appropriate to
          give another warning.
     •    The first arrest of a youth of any age for simple possession of an Offensive
          Weapon or Sharp Pointed Blade, with aggravating factors, will result in the
          first instance with a charge.



                        Roles and Responsibilities
When a young person is in custody the custody officer will initially decide whether a
reprimand or final warning is appropriate, based on the gravity matrix and previous
criminal history. A reprimand may be delivered while the youth is in custody but in the
case of a final warning the youth should normally be bailed for a YOT assessment.

An exception to being bail for a YOT assessment would be in circumstance where
The offending youth live a long distance away and it would be difficult for him/her to
return on bail.

When it does not involve a custody case another sergeant can make the initial
recommendation. Again, if a final warning were deemed to be the most suitable
disposal then the young person would be assessed by the YOT with an inspector
making the decision for a final warning to be issued.


Officer administering reprimand or final warning
A uniformed inspector should administer the reprimand or final warning or a suitably
trained officer such as the YOT based officer. In the absence of either of these and
where necessary it may be carried out by a uniformed sergeant.

Therefore, in considering who should deliver the final warning it will be the person or
persons on division who are recognised as the best person qualified to carry out the
role.


Officer in the Case (OIC)
The OIC has a number of responsibilities with regard to providing information to the
YOT and ensuring contact with victims.

During the initial investigation phase, you should:

     •    Obtain sufficient evidence to establish whether the young person has
          committed an offence and if so whether that evidence, if a prosecution were
          to take place, would provide a realistic prospect of conviction;



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     •    Obtain the victim’s details and identify if he or she is vulnerable or
          intimidated;
     •    Ascertain whether or not the victim agrees with their details being passed to
          the YOT. If the victim declines this should be highlighted on both the crime
          report and on the Youth Referral form;
     •    Efforts should be made to find out the victim’s view about the offence, which
          may have a bearing on how serious the offence is judged to be. It should not,
          however, be regarded as conclusive.
     •    Under normal circumstances a statement should be obtained prior to the
          arrest of the young person for the offence. Impact statements are seen as
          good practice and consideration should be given to include impact factors in
          the original statement if appropriate. This will give information to the YOT
          when considering the appropriateness of final warning and also options for
          interventions; and
     •    Consider whether an immediate arrest is necessary in situations where all
          the evidence is not available and there are no risks to the victim, witnesses
          and young person. In some cases, it may not be clear that a warning is
          suitable. On these occasions the young person should be bailed for a
          decision as to disposal. This will allow time to check previous offending
          history. During the bail period the YOT will conduct an assessment to find the
          young person’s suitability for the restorative processes and feed any relevant
          issues into the police decision-making process.
     •    The bail period will normally be for between 21-28 days although some
          divisions may prefer a shorter period while others a longer one. What is
          important is that the matter is completed thoroughly and expeditiously.

Following the arrest you should:

     •    Obtain photograph, fingerprints and DNA for the young person as soon as
          practicable;
     •    Following interview (where appropriate) and collation of evidence, present all
          available evidence to the custody officer to allow consideration of final
          warning disposal.

Once the young person has been bailed to the YOT, you should ensure that the
below listed forms are prepared and sent to the YOT to assist with the assessment of
the young person (note this is not exhaustive and each division may have their own
additional or different requirements):

     •    Youth Referral form (WG 445 self generated by ICIS) which includes
          personal details of offender, offence for which the final warning is being
          considered and details of victim, including views and whether or not they
          agree to further contact by the YOT. In the case where police officer or police
          staff is the victim then their details and views should be included in the same
          way as other victims. The YOT must receive these details within one day of
          the young person being bailed.
     •    Reprimand/Final Warning form (WG571 and 572 self generated by ICIS)
     •    Any available statements. This may include evidence recorded in pocket
          notebooks if applicable. Impact evidence should also be forwarded at this
          time;
     •    MG3 including sufficient detail for YOT staff to complete relevant section if
          following the assessment;
     •    MG5 (Police Report) and if appropriate Short Description Note (SDN). This
          will give the YOT a clear view of the allegation of the offence.


Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                     5
     •    Copy of the bail form (generated from ICIS);
     •    Crime and FWIN numbers; and
     •    Form 208 descriptive completed as far as possible.

In addition the police have specific responsibilities under the Victims Code of Practice
(VCOP) to inform them of the progress of the investigation. The OIC must inform all
victims and witnesses within five days in all cases and within one day for vulnerable
and intimidated victims that the young person has been bailed for assessment.

You should ensure that the crime report number is updated to show that the offender
has been bailed for assessment and when bailed to.

You should comply with your local processes to inform the officer who will administer
the final warning of the bail date and time.


Custody Officer
When a young person is arrested for an offence the custody officer is responsible for
deciding if the young person, having satisfied all the above criteria, is eligible for a
reprimand or final warning. If the young person has committed a first offence and it is
admitted then the custody officer may decide that a reprimand is the most suitable
disposal.

If the young person has previously received a reprimand or the offence is so serious
of consideration is given to a final warning being issued then under the provisions on
Sec.35 (5) PACE amended by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, the
custody officer should arrange bail for a minimum of 15 working days to allow the
YOT to carry out an assessment of the young person.

You should inform the young persons parent or guardian of the reason for bail.

They should be told that while the young person may meet the criteria for a final
warning, at that time the decision as to whether to finally warn or charge has not
been made and that the decision will be made following assessment by the YOT.

You should also ensure that prior to bailing, the young person has fingerprints,
photograph and where appropriate DNA samples taken so as to reduce the necessity
to return to the custody office following the final warning.

You must check that the OIC has complied with the requirements of this policy prior
to allowing him/her retiring from duty. Requirements can be found in this guidance.

The young person and their parent or guardian must be informed of the bail condition
imposed and that failure to comply could lead to the young person being considered
inappropriate for a final warning.

Prior to closing the ICIS custody record, it must be endorsed with the reason
why a reprimand or final warning has been issued and the gravity matrix score.

Final Warning Scheme Officer.
A divisional officer/administrative support will need to be responsible for overseeing
the arrangements of assessments on offenders by the YOT.




Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                       6
This officer is often seconded to the YOT and their duties may include some or all of
the following tasks subject to local arrangements between the divisional commander
and the YOT manager:

     •    On receipt of a reprimand or final warning file from the police, checking that
          all existing paper work and required details are included. Where these are
          missing or insufficient to carry out the assessment you may follow locally
          agreed procedures to obtain them. This should not delay the process of
          assessment unless the file is inadequate to initiate it;
     •     Making contact with the young person to arrange an appointment to carry
          out the assessment. This should be done within five working days. You
          would then ensure that the assessment is carried out in time to report back to
          the police officer(s) identified locally making the decision whether to endorse
          the final warning disposal. This would normally be done within ten working
          days. Assessment may not be needed for a person receiving a reprimand.
     •    Contact is made by the YOT with victims who have agreed further contact to
          explore restorative options to seek their views on the case. This should be
          done within five working days. You would then ensure that the views are
          taken into consideration when deciding on the most appropriate method of
          intervention;
     •    The file should be endorsed with the opinions of the person carrying out the
          assessment. This may be a separate report or directly onto the MG3 but in
          any case the MG3 should be endorsed with the YOT result. The MG3 is a
          police/CPS document and must be completed by the final warning scheme
          officer;
     •    The file and its content sent to the YOT are subject to rules regarding
          disclosure. You should ensure that access to information within the file does
          not contravene these rules;
     •    Home Office/Youth Justice Board (YJB) states wherever possible victim
          details and offender details should be kept separate. You should ensure that
          on receipt of the Youth Referral form that the details are kept separate and
          that access to victim details is strictly managed by yourself;
     •    The assessment should be completed and forwarded with recommendations
          to the nominated officer (not below the rank of sergeant unless specially
          trained) at least five working days prior to the bail date in order for the
          disposal decision to be made based on all available information. It may be
          that this person(s) is also the nominated officer(s) to administer the final
          warning. This provides sufficient time to make a decision and to inform the
          OIC in cases where the decision is to charge; and
     •    You should available to the police officer(s) responsible for the decision
          making, and administering the final warning to provide advice on intervention
          and future contact with the YOT.


Police Inspector.
If the young person has been bailed for YOT assessment then the decision whether
to issue a final warning will be made by an officer not below the rank of inspector.
They should ensure that following assessment by the YOT all the available
information is taken into consideration in deciding the disposal option.

If the decision is made to administer a final warning then that information should be
conveyed by email to the following:

     •    YOT seconded officer;



Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                      7
     •    OIC;
     •    The officer responsible for administering the final warning.

If the decision is to recommend charge:

     •    The file should be endorsed with the reason for reverting to charge. This
          may involve a report that clearly explains to the CPS and the Criminal Justice
          (CJU) inspector, the reasons why a final warning was not seen as
          appropriate. The inspector explaining the decision may be required to liaise
          with the local CPS youth lead to explain the reason for the decision;
     •    The OIC should be informed of the decision and the file forwarded to that
          officer; and
     •    Ensure that the young person and their parent or guardian is informed if the
          decision to charge and to attend the police station to answer bail.


Divisional Commander.
Should ensure that a system is in place locally to manage appointments for final
warnings. This can include final warning clinics at a set time each week or an
individual appointment system.


All Divisional Police Officers
In administering reprimands and final warnings all officers should follow the Home
office/YJB guidance November 2002 in conjunction with the Final Warning Scheme
Home Office update May 2006.



                                     Other Processes

Sex Offenders Register
Part 2 of the Sexual offenders Act 2003, which replaces Part 1 of the Sex Offenders
Act 1997, requires those convicted or warned for relevant sexual offences listed in
Schedule 3 to the Act to notify the police of certain personal details (including their
name and address) within three days of their conviction or cautioned.

The offender must then notify the police whenever these details change and then
reconfirm their notified details at least once every twelve months. These notification
requirements are known as “registration” and referred to loosely as creating a “sex
offenders register”. For further information please see Guidance on Part 2 of the
Sexual Offences Act 2003 or see 2004/18 Appendix C.

In relation to this policy, the general principle is that the notification requirement will
apply to young offenders who have been reprimanded or warned for an offence listed
in Schedule 3. However, some offences have thresholds that will mean that the
notification requirements will not be triggered when a warning or reprimand is
received. You should consult with Schedule 3 to the Act, which lists all offences with
the thresholds.

Where the notifications apply, the police must explain to a young offender and their
parent or guardian that on receiving a reprimand or warning for such an offence, they
will be required to comply with the notification requirements of Part 2 of the Sexual
Offences Act 2003.



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A reprimand or warning will make the offender subject to the notification
requirements for a period of one year from the date of reprimand or warning.


Rehabilitation of Offenders.
The police officer should also make the young person aware of changes in the
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which relates to reprimands and final warnings
being immediately spent.


Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
Where an ASBO has been obtained for a young person, any breach of that ASBO
should be dealt with in line with normal procedures for dealing with young offenders.
The police, in consultation with the YOT should make an assessment of both the
seriousness of the breach and of the young person’s offending history. Where the
breach of an ASBO is effectively a first criminal offence by the young person then a
warning may be appropriate, provided the breach was not a flagrant one. Where the
breach was flagrant, then the exception would be to charge, unless there were some
very unusual circumstances.


Children and Young People Involved in Prostitution
The final warning scheme replaces all cautioning for young people, which means that
the prostitute’s cautions will no longer be available as a disposal for prostitutes under
the age of 18.

Young persons under the age of 18 who come to notice as being involved in
prostitution should be dealt with in accordance with the joint Home Office/Department
of Health guidance on the issue. That guidance emphasises that young persons
under 18 are primarily victims of abuse who do not consent freely to prostitution. As
such, they should if at all possible be diverted away from prostitution without recourse
to the criminal justice system. However, the guidance makes it clear that in
exceptional cases, where diversion has repeatedly failed, the police may, after
consultation with others in the multi-agency group, take criminal action against a
person under the age of 18 for loitering, soliciting or importuning. Where the offence
is admitted, the young person can be dealt with under the final warning scheme. The
guidance also sets out the approach to take where the person under 18 does not
admit the offence.




Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                     9
                                       Appendix A

The following lists of common public interest factors are not exhaustive. The
factors that apply will depend on the facts in each case.
Some common public interest factors in favour of prosecution
 The more serious the offence, the more likely it is that a prosecution will be needed
in the public interest. A prosecution is likely to be needed if:
a. A conviction is likely to result in a significant sentence
b. A conviction is likely to result in a confiscation or any other order
c. A weapon was used or violence was threatened during the commission of the
offence
d. The offence was committed against a person serving the public, (for example, a
police or prison officer, or a nurse)
e. The defendant was in a position of authority or trust
f. The evidence shows that the defendant was a ringleader or the organiser of the
offence
g. There is evidence that the offence was premeditated
h. There is evidence that the offence was carried out by a group
i. The victim of the offence was vulnerable, has been put in considerable fear, or
suffered personal attack, damage or disturbance
j. The offence was committed in the presence of, or in close proximity to a child
k. The offence was motivated by any form of discrimination against the victim’s ethnic
or national origin, disability, gender, religious beliefs, political views or sexual
orientation, or the suspect demonstrated hostility towards the victim based on any of
those characteristics
l. there is a marked difference between the actual or mental ages of the defendant
and the victim, or if there is any element of corruption
m. The defendant’s previous convictions or cautions are relevant to the present
offence
n. The defendant is alleged to have committed the offence while under the order of
the court
o. There are grounds for believing that the offence is likely to be continued or
repeated, for example by a history of recurring conduct
p. The offence although not serious in itself is widespread in the are where it was
committed
q. A prosecution would have a significant positive impact on maintaining community
confidence




Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                    10
Some common public interest factors against prosecution
A prosecution is less likely to be needed if:
         a the court is likely to impose a nominal penalty;
         b the defendant has already been made the subject of a sentence and any
         further conviction would be unlikely to result in the imposition of an additional
         sentence or order, unless the nature of the particular offence requires a
         prosecution;
         c the offence was committed as a result of a genuine mistake or
         misunderstanding (these factors must be balanced against the seriousness of
         the offence);
         d the loss or harm can be described as minor and was the result of a single
         incident, particularly if it was caused by a misjudgement;
         e there has been a long delay between the offence taking place and the date
         of the trial, unless:
                   ·The offence is serious;
                  · The delay has been caused in part by the defendant;
                  · The offence has only recently come to light; or
                  · the complexity of the offence has meant that there has been a long
                  investigation;
f. A prosecution is likely to have a bad effect on the victim’s physical or mental
health, always bearing in mind the seriousness of the offence;
g. The defendant is advanced in years or is, or was at the time of the offence,
suffering from significant mental or physical ill health, unless the offence is serious or
there is a real possibility that it may be repeated. The Crown Prosecution Service,
where necessary, applies Home Office guidelines about how to deal with mentally
disordered offenders. Crown Prosecutors must balance the desirability of diverting a
defendant who is suffering from significant mental or physical ill health with the need
to safeguard the general public;
h. The defendant has put right the loss or harm that was caused (but defendants
must not avoid prosecution solely because they pay compensation); or
i. Details may be made public that could harm sources of information, international
relations or national security;


Gravity Factors
Gravity Factors are a gravity score given to offences to aid the decision whether to
reprimand, warn or charge. Aggravating and mitigating factors are listed which could
increase or decrease the gravity score, taking into consideration the circumstances of
the event.
The key factors, which will be relevant in deciding whether to charge, warn or
reprimand a young person for an offence, are (a) the young person’s offending
history, and (b) the seriousness of the offence. If the young offender has previously
been convicted of any offence (except where the only sentence was an Absolute or
Conditional Discharge), or received a warning within the previous two years, these
gravity factors are irrelevant since the young offender cannot be reprimanded or
warned. The seriousness of any offence relates both to the nature of the offence and
to the circumstances which surround it. These issues are considered in more detail
below. A further factor to be considered is whether or not it is in the public interest for




Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                      11
the young offender to be prosecuted. This issue is examined further in the main body
of the Final Warning Scheme Guidance.

The tables in the gravity matrix (see PNLD for most up to date) classify most common
offences on a scale of 1 (low gravity) up to 4 (high gravity) based on the seriousness
of the individual offence. The classifications in the tables are designed to assist in
decision-making, but they cannot be regarded as a definitive guide, and must be
considered alongside all the other issues outlined below. Factors which can make an
offence more serious are shown as aggravating (+) while mitigating factors, making
an offence less serious, are shown as (-). Some factors apply to all offences,
including excluded offences in exceptional circumstances, and are listed as ‘General
Factors’ while others are only applicable to specific offences and are listed as
‘Offence Specific Gravity Factors’.

It is most important that the appropriate offence is determined according to the
evidence, and that this is done before any consideration of the gravity factors.
Equally, if having applied all the criteria, the police decision maker is considering a
reprimand or warning, care must be taken to ensure the offender stands reported or
bailed for the appropriate offence and that there is no up-grading or down-grading
simply to circumvent the criteria.

Having decided the appropriate offence, the gravity score can only be up-graded or
downgraded by one point irrespective of the number of factors present. However, the
mere presence of a (+) or (-) factor does not always mean an offence gravity score
will be changed. It signifies a specific issue that must be considered by a decision
maker, together with all the other matters and, if significant, can change the decision
that would otherwise have been made. As a result it could be the deciding factor for a
particular decision or have no bearing on the decision. It is important for decision
makers to ensure that both the ‘offence specific gravity factors’ and the ‘general
factors for all offences’ are considered for each offence for which a decision is made.
This will ensure that the seriousness of the offence, the particular circumstances of it,
and the offender’s current and previous behaviour are all considered. In every case
the consideration given to aggravating and mitigating factors must be noted within
the decision recorded.
The presumptions applicable to the final gravity score reached, when all the relevant
factors have been applied to the circumstances of a particular offence, are listed in
the gravity matrix. This must be used in conjunction with the legislation in relation to
the offender’s qualification for reprimand, warning or charge. Where this assessment
leads the police officer to consider a warning or charge there is also the option to ask
the Youth offending team to undertake a prior assessment of the young offender to
inform their decision-making process.


Victims
One important factor will be the impact of the offence on the victim. Wherever
possible, the victim should be contacted before a decision is made, to establish their
view about the offence, the nature and extent of any harm or loss and its significance
relative to the victim’s circumstances. The victim’s view about the offence may have a
bearing on how serious the offence is judged to be but cannot be regarded as
conclusive.


Racially and Religiously aggravated offences
Another important aggravating factor will be where an offence has a racial motivation.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001


Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                   12
introduced a range of new offences, based on existing offences, which incorporate
this aggravating factor as part of the offence itself.
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 make reference to racist or religious crime that is not
included in the Crime and Disorder Act and any act that is based upon a person’s
sexual orientation or disability or perceived sexual orientation or disability.

 Guidance on Racially and Religiously Aggravated Offences, part of the Crime &
Disorder Act series, is available from the Home Office. The new offences are not
included specifically in the matrix because the process of determining the gravity of
the offence itself requires that where the victim’s race is a motivation, consideration
must be given to raising the gravity score of the offence. For example, the Act
introduces a new offence of racially aggravated ABH (Section 47 OAP Act 1861).
ABH attracts a gravity score of 3 in the matrix. Where the offence is racially
aggravated ABH consideration must be given raising this to 4.


Values of Property
Some of the criteria include a consideration of monetary value relevant to offences.
Flexibility should be demonstrated by police decision makers in comparing these
values to those recorded against the relevant incident. Estimates of the value of
property and of damage are often unreliable and tend to be subjective.


Traffic Related Offences
Where a young person commits a minor road traffic offence a fixed penalty notice
remains an appropriate response for 16 and 17 year olds. If a young person receives
such a penalty this has no bearing on the capacity of the police to issue reprimands
or warnings for any further offences nor does it count as a conviction. Where a traffic
offence is dealt with at court and results in a conviction this will, as with any other
conviction, preclude the administration of a reprimand or warning for a further offence.
Where offenders guilty of road traffic offences are dealt with by means of a caution, in
the case of young offenders, this should result in a reprimand, warning or charge as
appropriate.


Children and Young People Involved in Prostitution
The final warning scheme replaces all cautioning for young people, which means that
the prostitute’s cautions will no longer be available as a disposal for prostitutes under
the age of 18.

Young persons under the age of 18 who come to notice as being involved in
prostitution should be dealt with in accordance with the joint Home Office/Department
of Health guidance on the issue. That guidance emphasises that young persons
under 18 are primarily victims of abuse who do not consent freely to prostitution. As
such, they should if at all possible be diverted away from prostitution without recourse
to the criminal justice system. However, the guidance makes it clear that in
exceptional cases, where diversion has repeatedly failed, the police may, after
consultation with others in the multi-agency group, take criminal action against a
person under the age of 18 for loitering, soliciting or importuning. Where the offence
is admitted, the young person can be dealt with under the final warning scheme. The
guidance also sets out the approach to take where the person under 18 does not
admit the offence.




Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                   13
Breaches of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
Where an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) has been obtained for a juvenile any
breach of that ASBO should be dealt with in line with normal procedures for dealing
with juvenile offenders. The police, in consultation with the youth offending team,
should make an assessment of both the seriousness of the breach and of the young
person’s offending history. Where the breach of an ASBO is effectively a first criminal
offence by the juvenile then a final warning may be appropriate, provided the breach
was not a flagrant one. Where the breach was flagrant, then the expectation would be
to charge, unless there were some very unusual circumstances.


Using the ACPO gravity factors
The following pages show various tables that can be applied to the gravity factor
system; the first page deals with offences that would usually be excluded from the
options of reprimand or warning, though in exceptional circumstances the general
factors may be so significant that they could influence a reduction in gravity; the
second and third pages list a number of general factors that might aggravate or
mitigate the commission of any type of offence, including excluded offences in
exceptional circumstances; and the remaining pages show lists of offences together
with their standard gravity scores and those offence specific gravity factors that are
considered appropriate to aggravate or mitigate each type of offence, according to
the particular circumstances surrounding it. However, it should be remembered
throughout the process that each case must be considered on its own merits.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 passed the responsibility for making charging
decisions from the police to the CPS in all indictable only, either way or summary
offences, except those cases specified in the Director’s Guidance, which the police
may continue to charge. The police may still take the decision to issue a reprimand
or final warning in all summary and either way offences without reference to the CPS
where the police consider that the youth is eligible for diversion.

NB All indictable only offences must be referred to the CPS to decide whether to
charge or divert, as only the CPS can make this decision.


General factors for consideration
The circumstances surrounding the offence should always be taken into account in
determining the most appropriate response. There are a number of general factors
that can affect the decision about how to proceed. These are set out in the next two
tables below.

Important: only one reprimand may be given. Where an offender has already
received a reprimand, the minimum response will be a warning. Only one
warning may normally be given. A second warning is only available where the
previous offence was committed more that 2 years ago, and the offence is
minor. Where an offender has already been warned, a further offence should
normally result in a charge.




Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                   14
                                        Appendix B


                            GENERAL FACTORS FOR ALL OFFENCES

                       (+)                                                  (-)
Conviction is likely to result in significant        Conviction is likely to result in unusually
sentence.                                            small or nominal penalty.
Weapon used or violence threatened during            Prosecution is likely to have bad effect on
commission of offence.                               victim’s physical or mental health.
Offence against public servant (e.g. police,         Offender supplied information which
nurse, council employee, etc.)                       reduced risk, loss or harm to others.
Offender abused a position of trust - e.g.           Others more criminally sophisticated
banker, baby-sitter, and shop assistant.             influenced offender.
Offender was ringleader / organiser.                 Genuine mistake or misunderstanding.
Evidence of premeditation.                           Vulnerability of the offender.
Offender was part of an organised team or            Provocation from victim or victim's group
a group committed offence.                           and offender reacted impulsively.
Victim was vulnerable, deliberately put in           The offence is minor and offender has put
considerable fear or suffered personal               right harm or loss caused; has expressed
attack, damage, disturbance, or domestic             regret; offered reparation or compensation.
violence.
Offence motivated by discrimination against          Offender is or was at time of offence
victim’s racial or ethnic origin religious           suffering from significant mental or
beliefs, gender, disability, political views or      physical ill health and offence is not likely
sexual orientation.                                  to be repeated.
There are grounds for believing the offence          The offence is so old that the relevance of
is likely to be repeated or continued - e.g.         any response is minimised, i.e. there has
by a history of recurring conduct.                   been a long delay between the offence
                                                     occurring and the point of decision making
                                                     - Unless the offence is
Evidence of exploitation.
                                                     Serious; the offender contributed to the
The offence, though minor, is prevalent in           delay; the offence only recently came to
the local area - as identified in the local          light; or the complexity of the offence has
crime audit, specified in the youth justice          contributed to long investigation.
plan or specifically agreed with CPS to
warrant more serious response.
Offence committed with intent to commit a
sexual offence



                        GENERAL FACTORS FOR TRAFFIC OFFENCES

                      (+)                                               (-)
Serious injury caused to public or                   Genuine oversight, technicality of        the
significant damage caused                            offence or emergency circumstances
Multiple offenders involved in similar               No danger caused to public
offences at same time/location
Potential risk to public or resultant danger         Lack of knowledge




   Reprimand and Final Warning Policy                                                         15

				
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