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Out of court disposals

For more information on out of court disposals, use the ‘Information’ header at the top of this page and select ‘Understanding your criminal record’ and then ‘List of sentences/disposals and their implications


When deciding whether a prosecution is in the public interest, police officers have a duty to consider whether an out of court disposal would be more appropriate.

On many occasions, the action of the police is determined by law. However, there are times when the police have some discretion in how they exercise their powers and they may feel it more appropriate to issue some type of out of court disposal.

Any decision they make must be appropriate and proportionate to the offence and to the individual concerned.  Any relevant mitigating or aggravating factors will be taken into consideration.

Examples of out of court disposals and their implications

Click on image to open

Thanks go to NAAN for allowing us to copy the above image from their guidance

Further information

There’s a list of police disposals, and information on each, available on this site here.

For additional information relating to the out of court disposals framework have a look at the College of Policing website.

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Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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