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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 23 February, 2015

Report of the Leader

Simple Caution Delegation and Authorisation

 

Purpose of the Report

1. To authorise officers to administer Simple Cautions in accordance with Home Office guidelines.

Recommendations

1. That authority is granted to all Directors to delegate the administration of Simple Cautions to appropriate officers in accordance with Home Office Guidelines.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To ensure all relevant and suitably trained officers are appropriately authorised to deliver Simple Cautions.

Background

2. The Council has a published policy in respect of enforcement.  In certain circumstances as outlined in that policy it may not be appropriate for enforcement action to be taken in the form of legal proceedings. Authorisation is therefore sought to allow officers to administer Simple Cautions as alternative disposals in enforcement cases.

Relevant Issues and Options

3. Where it is felt that prosecution may not be appropriate, the use of a Simple Caution may be considered.  In all such cases, the Home Office Guidance on the use of Cautions will be followed.  A Simple Caution will only be used where:

  • There is evidence of the offender's guilt sufficient to give a realistic prospect of conviction.
  • The offender admits the offence.
  • The offender clearly understands the significance of a Simple Caution and gives informed consent to being cautioned.
  • The use of a Simple Caution is considered to be in the public interest in some cases but in other cases it will be inappropriate.  This will be determined on a case by case basis.

4. The Service will use a Simple Caution as an alternative to prosecution in order to:

  • Deal quickly and simply with less serious offences.
  • To divert less serious offences away from the courts.
  • To reduce the prospects of repeat offences.

5. It is proposed therefore that all relevant officers dealing with enforcement activity within the Council are authorised under The Local Government Act 1972 to issue Simple Cautions.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6. The issuing of Simple Cautions in appropriate circumstances can reduce the amount of officer time and cost to the Council.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

7. There are no sustainability and climate change implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8. Where a Caution is deemed to be inappropriate the matter will be referred to the Council's Legal Services Division in accordance with the Council's Enforcement Policy.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9. A Simple Caution can often be an appropriate and proportionate response to criminality and hence have an impact upon the likelihood of reoffending.

 

10. Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Council has a statutory duty to consider crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11. None applicable to this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12. Residents and citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan feel safe and are safe within their community.

Policy Framework and Budget

13. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14. This report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15. Housing and Public Protection.

 

 

Background Papers

Vale of Glamorgan Enforcement Policy.

Ministry of Justice Guidance on Simple Cautions.

 

 

Contact Officer

Christina Roberts - Principal Trading Standards Officer Tel. 01446 709344

 

 

Officers Consulted

Richard Price - Principal Lawyer

Laura Davis - Accountant

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services