Community Remedy was introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and gives victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB) a say in how offenders should make amends for their actions, based on a list of options.
ASB is a term that covers a wide range of problems that can cause misery in communities.
It’s about having a victim focus. The public should be able to see the offender putting right what they have done wrong or being asked to participate in an activity that deters them from re-offending.
How was it developed?
The Police and Crime Commissioner for each local policing area was required to consult with:
- the police,
- the local authority,
- voluntary groups and
- other interested community representatives
on what should be included in the remedy.
Once the consultation was concluded, the results were taken into account as well as what was appropriate and available in each area.
The remedy document was drawn up and approved by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable for Lincolnshire, which can be viewed here.
How is it used?
The police already use a process called community resolution. This enables them to deal with low level criminal damage, low value theft, minor assaults (without injury) and anti-social behaviour out-of-court.
To use a community resolution the officer must have enough evidence for a case to be brought to court; the offender admits their guilt and the officer decides the matter would be better dealt within the community after consultation with the victim.
The community resolution is the process by which the community remedy is delivered.
The list of options on the remedy document which the victim can choose from, informs the decision about how to deal with the offender in the community (known as an out-of-court disposal).
The final decision on how to deal with the offender is made by the police; it must improve public confidence in the use of out-of-court disposals and must not breach the individual’s human rights.
Out-of-court disposals are monitored by a scrutiny panel.
What if the person does not comply with the Community Remedy?
If an offender has agreed to carry out a series of actions from the community remedy but fails to do so, then the matter can be brought to court.
Before a community resolution is put into place the officer in charge must be satisfied that there is enough evidence to bring court proceedings or in the case of anti-social behaviour apply for an injunction (civil court process). Therefore, if the offender does not engage in the community resolution process court proceedings can be instigated.