New NPCC Guidance on Community Resolutions

National Police Chiefs’ Council Guidance on Community Resolutions

The NPCC have produced guidance on the use of Community Resolution


A Community Resolution is the term used to describe the lowest disposal type available to policing. It is used for low-level crime, for children, young people and adults, and is aimed at first-time offenders, though there is discretion for police forces to use it where an offender has a history of offending.

The key considerations that police officers must take into account when considering a Community Resolution:

  • There is sufficient evidence to prove an offence has occurred;
  • The offender accepts responsibility or admits guilt and agrees to participate in a Community Resolution. An appropriate adult must be present when acceptance is sought from a child;
  • Where a victim has been identified, the victim should be consulted and their views recorded, though do not have to be followed;
  • Police Officers should use the youth or adult gravity matrix to inform decision making;
  • Rationale should be recorded, justifying the decision; and
  • It is a ‘less serious offence’.

‘Less serious’ will be determined on a case-by-case basis but the following should be considered:

  • Classification and circumstances of the offence;
  • Risk to the public and community confidence in the police;
  • Potential impact on the victim, offender and other involved parties;
  • Likely penalty on conviction; and
  • Relevant offending history. The guidance makes clear that if this factor is being considered, supervisory guidance from a sergeant should be considered or consultation and referral to YOS for children and young people.


Much of this guidance is uncontroversial and there remains significant discretion accorded to officers’ when considering a Community Resolution. Nevertheless, clarity around the factors that will be taken into account in the decision is helpful and will allow practitioners to use the considerations to persuade an officer either to administer their client with a Community Resolution rather than something more serious, or not to administer anything and simply mark the matter as No Further Action.

There is little within the guidance specifically referencing children and young people. Whilst officers must refer to the Youth Gravity Matrix, which of course differs from the Adult version, it is perhaps a missed opportunity to set out a more comprehensive youth specific regime for the use of Community Resolutions. This is a shame given the role of Community Resolution and the special position of children in the criminal justice system and the need to avoid criminalising children and young people unnecessarily.

Written by Robbie Eyles, Solicitor, Just for Kids Law