No further action is when the police make a decision not to charge someone with an offence. This may be because there is not enough evidence or it is not in the public interest.
It is not usually in the public interest to criminalise children.
“It is important that young people are not criminalised for behaviour which can be dealt with more appropriately by other means.”1
Children should be diverted away from the courts where possible.
“A prosecution is less likely to be required if…the seriousness and the consequences of the offending can be appropriately dealt with by an out-of-court disposal which the suspect accepts and with which he or she complies.”2; “[the Crown Prosecution Service are] .… starting from a presumption of diverting youths away from the courts where possible”3
Informal out-of-court disposals such as triage, outcome 21, a community restorative intervention or bureau will be recorded as no further action (NFA).
- Paragraph 5.2C.3 National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) – National Strategy for the Policing of Children & Young People (back)
- CPS Full Code Test, paragraph 4.17 b (back)
- CPS Legal Guidance on Young Offenders – Principles Guiding the Decision to Prosecute (back)