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16.3 Decision to Proceed


A file that enters Youth Justice Team will be dealt with within 10 working days then returned to Officer in Charge or forwarded to Final Warnings Officer or court.

Decision to Prosecute

1.1 The decision making process in determining the correct means of disposal for juveniles is governed by the Association of Chief Police Officer’s (ACPO) guidelines. The guidelines were formulated around 2000 but have been amended and updated on a number of occasions over the years. Within the ACPO guidelines is the Gravity Factor Matrix which was drawn up by ACPO in association with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), The Home Office, and the Youth Justice Board in the UK.
1.2 The Gravity Factor Matrix is the process that determines how a young person who has offended should be dealt with. A gravity factor scoring of between 1 and 4 with aggravating/mitigating factors is given for most offences. The aggravating/mitigating factors can increase or decrease the scoring, e.g. 1 being a low scoring offence and 4 being the highest scoring = Prosecution. Case disposal can range from a verbal warning, an informal or formal caution – to a Final Warning process or Prosecution.
1.3 A positive move towards Restorative interventions as oppose to use of the Criminal Justice System is ALWAYS the most favoured option in most cases if it is feasible and practicable for that individual and the particular offence being looked at.
1.4 The Gravity Factor Matrix is an assessment tool and each individual is assessed by the matrix accordingly and on the individuals own merit taking such things into consideration such as previous offending history, attitude towards offending etc. The process thereby clearly shows how the disposal decision is determined.