POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FOR BEDFORDSHIRE
Title and Reference – PCC/D/068
Subject: Out of Court Disposal Services – 6 Month Extension
Report of: Police and Crime Commissioner
Out of Court Disposals (OoCD) Conditional Cautions and Community Resolution intervention services are currently provided by YouTurn in Bedfordshire. This service is due to end on the 31st of March 2023 and due to its current value of £105,000 per annum will need to go out to full tender. The service is intended to be a whole system approach which supports tackling the causes of crime and provides early intervention as an alternative to prosecution. This is through providing intervention following a conditional caution or community resolution.
The aim of these interventions is to prevent reoffending, improve satisfaction for victims of low-level crimes and ultimately improve community safety. Providers will be asked to submit bids which offer a suite of educational or rehabilitative courses & options for restorative approaches through which genuine and positive change can be evidenced. Providers will be expected to work closely with officers and offenders to establish what interventions may best address the root cause of offending rather than presenting offending behaviour. Supportive interventions should be developed to respond to protected characteristics/ and vulnerabilities of the service user.
The service will be measured not only on its outcomes in relation to offenders but should consider and report on victim satisfaction and use cost/benefit analysis to illustrate projected saving to the force and local criminal justice system.
The term ‘Out of Court Disposals’ refers to a range of options available to the Police to use in certain cases as an alternative to a prosecution. These disposals can be used to deal with less serious offences and offenders with little or no previous offending history. It is intended that this diversionary action will prevent reoffending and dissuade further
criminal activity. In this way disposals are designed to address the need of the offender, make good any loss or harm sustained by the victim and promote safer communities.
In September 2021, the government outlined reforms to the adult Out of Court Disposal framework in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. It was proposed through Legislative Reform whereby 2 Out of Court Disposals will be established in statute: Diversionary Caution – similar to the current Conditional Caution. This allows the police to set conditions within a specific time-period. Should conditions not be complied with, a prosecution for the original offence may be pursued. Conditions may be rehabilitative, reparative, or punitive.
• A Diversionary Caution will form part of a criminal record. The caution will become spent after 3 months (or earlier if prosecution commenced).
• Community Caution – similar to the existing Community Resolution and intended only for low level offences. This caution will become spent immediately. The changes to Out of Court Disposals represent an opportunity to further understand the landscape of Out of Court Disposals in Bedfordshire to ensure that they are used effectively and optimised to provide intended outcomes.
Police and Crime Plan
This service will respond to police and crime plan priority 3 – Tackling the causes of crime and breaking the cycle of re-offending.
Considerations of Partnership Work
This service will need to work closely with Bedfordshire Police Force and its officer who will be administering OOCD’s and with Bedfordshire Victim Care Centre who support victims of crime.
The current service is due to end on the 31st of March 2023 and due to its value of £105,000 per annum will need to go out to full tender. The approved budget for the next financial year is £120,000 and it is proposed that the contract be awarded for 3 years with 24 months extension options.
The OPCC commissioning team are working with 7 Force Commercial Services on this project. The 7 Force Commercial Services team have advised on the necessary timeframe and suggested that the current service be extended for six months in order to accommodate the timeline and in particular TUPE considerations (which if applicable will require at least 3 months mobilisation).
Proposal & Next Steps
• The OPCC Commissioning Team will continue working with 7F Commercial services on this project and will also introduce the force representative to the working group.
• An initial meeting has taken place with the current provider, Commissioning, and Income Generation Lead for OPCC and 7F Commercial Services to introduce the possibility of the six months extension from 1st April 2023 to 31st September 2023.
• The current provider is agreeable to this arrangement and therefore the decision required is for the OPCC to formally offer the extension and progress as above.
• It is proposed that the OPCC offer the extension to You Turn Futures for 6 months at a value of £62,500.
• In the longer term OPCC and service provider will look to establish a working group with police and other partners to create an overarching strategy and approach to OOCD’s that is consistent across the sector.
To note decision
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner
I hereby approve the recommendations above.