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MA Chair John Bache on need for scrutiny panels

MA in the media


20 January 2020
MA Chair John Bache on need for scrutiny panels

National Chair of the MA John Bache has had a letter published in response to a Daily Telegraph article that reported an increase in the police ordering community resolution orders for cannabis users as an alternative to formal charges, fines, cautions or police warnings. He stresses the importance of using scrutiny panels to monitor the use of out-of-court disposals:

“There is evidence that pre-court diversion can, in the right circumstances, be effective in reducing reoffending, and we do not want to see the courts clogged up with minor offences that are better dealt with by the police.

Panels should, however, be established in every area to scrutinise the police’s use of out-of-court disposals, identifying inappropriate use and tackling inconsistency. This would help to increase confidence in the justice system, not only among magistrates but also the wider public.”

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