Online and on the edge: real risks in a virtual world (6551)

We recommend that, within three months, forces ensure that decisions to use out of court disposals in relation to online child sexual exploitation are systematically scrutinised with a view to improving practice and minimising the opportunities for the inappropriate administration of alternatives to criminal proceedings at court.

[on]30th June 2015 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]3rd October 2016 [status]will-be-progressed[/status][/on][on]3rd October 2016 [comment]

The Alliance currently does not use out of court disposals and is waiting for national guidance to become available.

[/comment][/on][on]14th August 2018 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]14th August 2018 [comment]

Force have recorded as complete. (applicable WMR &WRK)The Alliance does not as a matter of course use out of court disposals for online child sexual exploitation offences and will not do so unless and until relevant national guidance becomes available to do so.

Crime Bureau lead attends Magistrates Scrutiny Panels across the alliance, for which there is a TOR that outlines the purpose of panels and the level of scrutiny given by CJ partners. Each Scrutiny Panel has an annual cycle of themes where OOCD's are scrutinised on a thematic basis. For example, online communication and sexting was chosen as a subject to review in March 2018 by Warks Scrutiny Panel, where a search of systems revealed that there were only 3 cases in the previous 6 months (2 x Community Resolution and 1 x Youth Caution) all with appropriate YOT oversight. As it was identifed there were insufficient numbers to be of concern, it did not proceed as a main theme for a panel. Scrutiny Panels do scrutinise and expect feedback and observations to be fed back as appropriate and policies and procedures are amended accordingly.