Guideline users should be aware that the Equal Treatment Bench Book covers important aspects of fair treatment and disparity of outcomes for different groups in the criminal justice system. It provides guidance which sentencers are encouraged to take into account wherever applicable, to ensure that there is fairness for all involved in court proceedings.
Community resolution is an informal non-statutory disposal used for dealing with less serious crime and anti-social behaviour where the offender accepts responsibility. The views of the victim (where there is one) are taken into account in reaching an informal agreement between the parties which can involve restorative justice techniques.
When sentencing an offender who has received a community resolution for an earlier offence:
- A community resolution is not a conviction and is therefore not a statutory aggravating factor, but if recent and relevant to the offence it may be considered to be an aggravating factor.