Offenders who say 'sorry' avoiding police custody

Offenders who say 'sorry' avoiding police custody

Offenders who say 'sorry' avoiding police custody

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

OFFENDERS who have committed violent and sexual crimes have avoided court by saying sorry to their victims.

Figures obtained by the Echo show that 318 people who carried out violent crimes and three who committed sexual offences were dealt with by ‘community resolution’ in just over a year.

It was also used in drug cases as well as possession of weapon incidents, including a firearm.

Community resolution is supposed to be used to resolve ‘minor’ offences and means the offender avoids the criminal justice system by completing a course of action agreed by their victim.

But police forces across the country have come under fire for its use in recent times.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has warned community resolution should be used only for ‘less serious’ offences, but has been found, as in Dorset, to have been used in sex, violence and firearms cases.

Dorset Police has admitted there is a cost saving in using community resolution – it’s almost seven times cheaper than taking an offender into custody, not including CPS costs.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill refused to comment on the situation.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has labelled the number of cases in which community resolution is used ‘extremely serious’.

She added: “There has been a massive increase in the number of serious and violent crimes dealt with just by community resolution since the police cuts started – breaking expert guidance and promises from ministers.

“Offenders who admit to serious and violent crimes – including knife crime, domestic violence, and serious assault – are increasingly being let off with no criminal record, no justice, and not even a caution. That’s bad for justice, bad for victims, and goes against all the evidence.”

There were 1,071 community resolution orders handed out in Dorset between January 2013 and February this year.

A police spokesman said: “Dorset Police is determined to ensure the right outcome is delivered and that a professional service is provided at all times, that meets the needs of the victim.

“To ensure community resolutions are proportionate and appropriate when used as an option for an out of court disposal, we have implemented an external scrutiny process. “This takes the form of a multi-agency panel, which provides reassurance to the force and the public, that the decisions to use community resolution are made in a sound, ethical manner which supports the needs of the victim and helps maintain public confidence.

“The emphasis is on providing a ‘victim focused’ resolution.

“Police officers are able to deliver a proportionate response to victims needs in an efficient, professional manner and the courts are more able to focus their time on dealing with serious offenders so as to protect the public.”

Dorset Police recently celebrated a rise in ‘positive outcomes’ for victims of crime. Community resolution is classed as a positive outcome. n HAVE you been a victim of a crime that has been dealt with by community resolution? Get in touch.

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:35am Mon 30 Jun 14

rolloversteve says...

Justice on the cheap, it's all about saving money, so if I was a victim and didn't accept an apology does the offender still get done um????
Justice on the cheap, it's all about saving money, so if I was a victim and didn't accept an apology does the offender still get done um???? rolloversteve
  • Score: 15

11:15am Mon 30 Jun 14

mr commonsense says...

This surely is a joke. Sex crimes, aggressive crimes, deliberate crimes now appear to be being treated as not worthy of the Police prosecuting .
If victims accept apologies that is fine but it must be a court that delivers a programme of public apology from the offender to the victim and society.
Funny how the Commissioner is unwilling to comment.
This surely is a joke. Sex crimes, aggressive crimes, deliberate crimes now appear to be being treated as not worthy of the Police prosecuting . If victims accept apologies that is fine but it must be a court that delivers a programme of public apology from the offender to the victim and society. Funny how the Commissioner is unwilling to comment. mr commonsense
  • Score: 11

12:09pm Mon 30 Jun 14

elloello1980 says...

I do get some victims may accept an apology (and some rehabilitate programme), but I do hope it's the victims choice to accept an apology and not the Police (you are not judges)
I do get some victims may accept an apology (and some rehabilitate programme), but I do hope it's the victims choice to accept an apology and not the Police (you are not judges) elloello1980
  • Score: 10

1:23pm Mon 30 Jun 14

peskykat says...

How do you know the apology is genuine ?
How do you know the apology is genuine ? peskykat
  • Score: 8

1:48pm Mon 30 Jun 14

every user name was taken says...

People will say anything to avoid jail, most are lying scumbags anyway so there apology's would be worthless.
People will say anything to avoid jail, most are lying scumbags anyway so there apology's would be worthless. every user name was taken
  • Score: 16

1:52pm Mon 30 Jun 14

not too distant says...

A policy which didnt help my highly educated friend from uni when he was pulled over with a bit of weed in his pocket... The government is failing society, which in-turn is failing us all.
A policy which didnt help my highly educated friend from uni when he was pulled over with a bit of weed in his pocket... The government is failing society, which in-turn is failing us all. not too distant
  • Score: 8

1:53pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Sidney Hall says...

every user name was taken wrote:
People will say anything to avoid jail, most are lying scumbags anyway so there apology's would be worthless.
I would assume it was only lip service if I was on the receiving end of an apology. Sorry they were caught more likely.
[quote][p][bold]every user name was taken[/bold] wrote: People will say anything to avoid jail, most are lying scumbags anyway so there apology's would be worthless.[/p][/quote]I would assume it was only lip service if I was on the receiving end of an apology. Sorry they were caught more likely. Sidney Hall
  • Score: 6

2:05pm Mon 30 Jun 14

banknote says...

When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic?

I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic!
When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic? I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic! banknote
  • Score: 3

2:45pm Mon 30 Jun 14

cj07589 says...

Is it April fool already? So just remember to say sorry after committing the crime and everything will end up ok, remind me again what the point of having laws if they are not enforced?
Is it April fool already? So just remember to say sorry after committing the crime and everything will end up ok, remind me again what the point of having laws if they are not enforced? cj07589
  • Score: 10

2:58pm Mon 30 Jun 14

elloello1980 says...

banknote wrote:
When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic?

I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic!
Regular echo readers will pick up the Echo from just seeing the header (logo).

The pic I assume is to grab the attention of those that don't often buy a copy. In theory, the more papers the Echo can sell, the bigger their budget will be, therefore the better the standard. In an ideal world, anyway
[quote][p][bold]banknote[/bold] wrote: When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic? I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic![/p][/quote]Regular echo readers will pick up the Echo from just seeing the header (logo). The pic I assume is to grab the attention of those that don't often buy a copy. In theory, the more papers the Echo can sell, the bigger their budget will be, therefore the better the standard. In an ideal world, anyway elloello1980
  • Score: 2

3:47pm Mon 30 Jun 14

carlinste says...

Such a small word for a big " let off", so all is alright with the world then !! I'm dismayed and disgusted.
Such a small word for a big " let off", so all is alright with the world then !! I'm dismayed and disgusted. carlinste
  • Score: 5

4:40pm Mon 30 Jun 14

JamesYoung says...

I thought it was automatically 5 years inside if you were found with a gun as in the picture.
I may use my bit coins to buy a couple of pistols.
And say sorry if i aim them at anybody.
I thought it was automatically 5 years inside if you were found with a gun as in the picture. I may use my bit coins to buy a couple of pistols. And say sorry if i aim them at anybody. JamesYoung
  • Score: 3

7:17pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Get a grip says...

banknote wrote:
When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic?

I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic!
You know what they say down the Echo "stick a photo in that will save us haveing to make up too many words"
[quote][p][bold]banknote[/bold] wrote: When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic? I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic![/p][/quote]You know what they say down the Echo "stick a photo in that will save us haveing to make up too many words" Get a grip
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Mon 30 Jun 14

cosmick says...

Martyn Uderhill it is not good enougth to say you have no comments to make, for Gods sake i thought that was your job.
Martyn Underhill when you stood for Election one of your pledges was putting the victim first.
You have failed.
Martyn Uderhill it is not good enougth to say you have no comments to make, for Gods sake i thought that was your job. Martyn Underhill when you stood for Election one of your pledges was putting the victim first. You have failed. cosmick
  • Score: 8

8:25am Tue 1 Jul 14

Big Jimbo says...

Unbelievable! What does Underhill actually do? I for one say a big "Sorry" I voted for him.
Unbelievable! What does Underhill actually do? I for one say a big "Sorry" I voted for him. Big Jimbo
  • Score: 0

11:30am Tue 1 Jul 14

elloello1980 says...

Get a grip wrote:
banknote wrote:
When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic?

I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic!
You know what they say down the Echo "stick a photo in that will save us haveing to make up too many words"
get a grip, but it gives you a good excuse to whine and moan ;)
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]banknote[/bold] wrote: When is the Echo going to put news on the front page, rather than a large pic? I thought the Echo classed itself as a newspaper and not a comic![/p][/quote]You know what they say down the Echo "stick a photo in that will save us haveing to make up too many words"[/p][/quote]get a grip, but it gives you a good excuse to whine and moan ;) elloello1980
  • Score: 2

11:56am Tue 1 Jul 14

THE OUTSIDERS says...

Absolutely ridiculous this is peoples lives at stake it's not a game of monopoly u don't get a get out of jail card just for a measly apology and I'm not surprised at all with no comment from dorset police nothing comes as a surprise when they are involved!!!!!!!!!!
Absolutely ridiculous this is peoples lives at stake it's not a game of monopoly u don't get a get out of jail card just for a measly apology and I'm not surprised at all with no comment from dorset police nothing comes as a surprise when they are involved!!!!!!!!!! THE OUTSIDERS
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree