Out of Court Disposals (OoCD)

Out of Court Disposals are considered for any young person who has committed a low level offence.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 came into force on 8 April 2013. This removed Final Warnings and Reprimands. From this date the only available options for dealing with youth crimes are:

  • No further action.

  • Informal Out of Court Disposal (known locally as a Youth Restorative Disposal).

  • Youth Caution.

  • Youth Conditional Caution.

  • Charge - prosecution through the courts.

Within Dorset the Police and the Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service (DCYOS) will follow an agreed consultation process before deciding on the use of an 'out of court disposal' for youths. This process will enable us to make informed decisions on the most appropriate disposal route as well as ensuring that young people considered vulnerable or at risk of further offending are signposted into support services at the earliest opportunity.

Below is a brief overview of the Youth Out of Court Disposal options:

Informal Out of Court Disposal (Youth Restorative Disposal)

  • Non-statutory disposal which means it does not result in a criminal record.

  • Used to deal with lower level crime where the young offender admits their guilt.

  • Usually the victim will have agreed that they do not want more formal action taken.

What does this involve

If there is a victim involved the police or the Youth Offending Service (YOS) can arrange a meeting for the young person to apologise and hear how their offending has affected the victim. The young person and victim both need to agree to participate in the YRD. Sometimes the young person appears to need extra help to stop them from re-offending. In such cases the YOS will do an assessment of the young person. They will agree a plan to help them to improve their behaviour.

Is a Youth Restorative Disposal recorded anywhere

The YRD will be recorded locally against the young person's name to avoid disproportionate criminalisation that would result from being recorded on the Police National Computer. 

Youth Cautions

  • Statutory disposal.

  • Offered when the offender admits their guilt and there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction but not in the public interest to prosecute.

  • Do not have to be specifically accepted by the offender if it is determined to be the appropriate disposal for the offence.

  • Youth Cautions are intended for low level offences, however they can be used for any offence where it is not in the public interest to prosecute.

  • Voluntary conditions can be attached to a Youth Caution to help the young person to avoid further offending. Failure to comply would be considered when decisions are made about how to respond to any future offences.

Youth Conditional Cautions

  • A statutory disposal.

  • They are a caution with conditions attached.

  • May be offered when the offender has not denied the offence, there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and when the public interest can best be served by an offender complying with suitable conditions rather than a formal prosecution.

  • An offender must also agree to accept the conditional caution and the conditions attached. Failure to comply with the conditions may lead to the offender being taken to court.

  • Youth conditional cautions are available for any offence. They are intended for low level offences. They can, however, be used for any offence where it is not in the public interest to prosecute.


Contact details East Dorset

Bournemouth Learning Centre
Ensbury Avenue
BH10 4HG

Telephone: 01202 794321

Contact details West Dorset

Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service
Monkton Park
Winterborne Monkton

Telephone: 0300 123 3339

Email: DCYOS@bcpcouncil.gov.uk