How it works

An officer approaching teenagers about grafitti If a crime is appropriate to be dealt with under the new process, officers can seek the offender's agreement to accept a Community Resolution, which could include the person being given advice about their behaviour, apologising or sending a letter of apology to the victim It could also involve some form of reparation, like repairing or paying for any damage done.

Officers will use their professional judgement, taking into consideration the offence, the victim and the offenders history,  to decide whether Community Resolution is the right way to deal with the crime.

The offender must admit the offence and agree to participate in the process.  The victim will also be consulted and given the opportunity to say how they would like the matter sorted out.

Officers are being encouraged to take a creative approach to their resolutions. For example a shoplifter who stole a tube of hair gel was banned from the store and had to pick up litter outside for an hour.

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Campbell said Community Resolution brings a number of benefits for everyone.

He said: "Many victims don't want to go through the lengthy and potentially stressful criminal justice process but just want the problem to be sorted.  Community Resolution enables this to happen.

"Victims will see their cases dealt with much quicker and fewer people will be criminalised for what can be very trivial one-off offences which can have a huge impact on their future lives

"There will also be reduced bureaucracy enabling officers to spend more time in their communities."