Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel

The Dorset Police Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Panel has been set up to independently scrutinise the use of Out of Court Disposals (OoCD’s).

This is in response to national recommendations following concerns about their appropriate use.

The role of the panel is to ensure that the use of OoCD’s is appropriate and proportionate, consistent with national and local policy, and considers the victims’ wishes where appropriate.

The panel aims to bring transparency to the use of OoCD’s in order to increase understanding and confidence in their use.

The panel also provides a platform to monitor trends in OoCD’s e.g. to see if there is an increase or decrease in particular disposal types applied, or a change in the nature of associated offences.

Findings of the panel, together with responses to recommendations made, will be reported publicly here to support this aim.

 How the panel operates

The panel review and discuss case files as a group and conclude one of four categories:


1. Appropriate and consistent with national and local guidelines
2. Appropriate with observations from the panel 
3. Inappropriate use of out of court disposal
4. Panel fails to agree on the appropriateness of the decision made.


Decisions reached by the panel on each case are recorded, together with observations and recommendations to inform changes in policy or practice. The panel also consider performance information regarding use of out of court disposals, and changes to legislation and policy.

Findings from the Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Panel will be considered by the Dorset Criminal Justice Board.

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