For a first offence a person may be issued with a reprimand, warned or prosecuted if aged between 10 - 17 years (inclusive). A warning rather than a reprimand should be issued where the offence is considered too serious to justify a reprimand.
In order that a reprimand/final warning can be issued the criteria must be:
- sufficient evidence of the offence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction.
- and an admission of guilt by the individual.
So what happens if you get a Police Reprimand?
The details of persons who are issued with a reprimand are forwarded to the Youth Offending Service (YOS) where the person lives. A letter is sent to the parents/guardian of the individual, should the individual be 17 years old a letter is also sent directly to them. The letter informs the recipient that advice and support is available should they require any. The young person or the family are free to take up or decline the offer of support.
The Final Warning Bail Scheme - what's the process?
Once the eligibility for a final warning has been ascertained, the person is granted police bail which includes an appointment for the person to attend the YOS and also an appointment to attend Altrincham police station in order that a final warning is issued.
At the YOS appointment, an assessment is done with the young person, possible interventions are discussed and an action plan is developed to address the individuals offending behaviour. Some examples of the interventions will include offence focus sessions i.e. what led to the offending behaviour? Why did that person commit the offence? The consequences of further offending is also looked at which includes victim awareness sessions and exploring how their actions can affect others.
Depending on the individual and the views of the victim, a restorative justice conference could be arranged where the offender and victim meet face to face.
Issuing of the Final Warning
After engagement with the YOS and the completion of the action plan a report is then submitted to a police inspector to grant authorisation for the individual to be issued with the final warning. The seconded police constable to the YOS then attends Altrincham police station and issues the final warning in the presence of a police sergeant.
Implications for the Future
No more than two warnings can be given to an individual. Neither a reprimand or a final warning can be issued if that person has already been convicted of an offence.
Following a reprimand a subsequent offence may only be dealt with by way of a warning or a charge. However any further offences would usually lead to a prosecution unless the offence is not serious and more than two years have passed since the first warning was issued.
Reprimands and final warnings are both entered onto the Police National Computer (PNC). Reprimands and final warnings are not convictions and therefore they do not constitute to a criminal record however the individual will have a police record. Reprimands and final warnings or non-compliance may be cited in court in any subsequent criminal proceedings, just in the same circumstances as if the person had any convictions.