On the 20th October 2014, new powers available to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and police forces under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into effect. The Act has provided new methods to tackle low level crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB).
One of these powers provided additional services for victims of crime and anti-social behaviour – the Community Remedy Menu. This is a document designed to give victims of ASB and low level crime a say in how the offender is dealt with. Community Remedy, similar to areas of restorative justice, is intended to allow victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour a voice in the out-of-court punishment for perpetrators. The aim of community remedy is to make community justice transparent to the public and involve victims in the process to provide fair punishments by publishing a community remedy document. The community remedy document allows options within the existing process for delivering community resolutions and will be used by police officers to invite a victim to choose an appropriate action for the perpetrator to take from this list of actions.
Essex Community Remedy Menu: Sep 2021 update
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 placed a requirement on Police and Crime Commissioners, in consultation with Chief Constables, to publish a Community Remedy Document to set out how victims of less serious crime and anti-social behaviour can have a say in the punishment of perpetrators who receive an out of court disposal. The menu provides a list of activities that a victim can select from. These actions must be appropriate and proportionate to the types of offences for which community resolutions are used and should have a positive impact on the perpetrator.
Benefits to Community Remedy
- Community remedy allows victims a voice in the outcome of offenders
- Allows a simple process for first time offending
- Provides a local influence in outcomes which is likely to increase public confidence.
Essex Community Remedy Menu
Every Chief Constable and PCC must produce a document for their area. In Essex this has been achieved via discussion with Local Authorities, Essex Police, other criminal justice agencies, and a public consultation which asked local people what was suitable for inclusion.
Requirements for the use of the Community Remedy
- The requirements that have to be met before using community remedy are:
- Mainly to be used for first time offending
- Evidence that a person has committed a minor criminal offence or
- Evidence that a person has engaged in anti-social behaviour
- Admittance of guilt from the person engaged with the behaviour, and agree to participate and capable of understanding the situation and process
- Evidence is suitable for taking proceedings for a civil injunction but considered that a community resolution would be more appropriate.
Essex Community Remedy
Activity overseen by Essex Restorative Justice and Mediation Service
- Restorative Justice or Mediation
Activity overseen by a Police Officer
- Verbal apology
- Acceptable Behaviour Contract
- Financial compensation
Activity overseen by OOCD team
- Rehabilitative Behaviour to address offending behaviour
- Referral to relevant outside agency
More information about Restorative Justice can be found on the Essex Restorative and Mediation Service website; www.restorativeessex.co.uk
Not all offences will be suitable for Community Remedy, and in some cases, not all options may be appropriate. If a community remedy is appropriate for a case, the options available will be fully explained to the victim.