The Police Adult Diversion Scheme (diversion) lets the police deal with some defendants without going through the formal court prosecution process. The police diversion officer will contact you to get your views before diversion is offered.
What cases can go through diversion?
All cases will be considered for diversion, but it will not be used for serious offending. Diversion can be used when:
- the offence is either the defendant’s first offence, or there are special circumstances where it may be appropriate to offer diversion
- the offence is not serious
- the defendant has accepted full responsibility for the offence
- the defendant agrees to the terms of diversion.
The Police Prosecution Service (police prosecutors) will decide whether a defendant is suitable for diversion. The court will adjourn the defendant's case so that they can meet with the police diversion officer and then complete the agreed diversion conditions.
Diversion agreements can include any one or a combination of the following conditions:
- making an apology to the victim
- reparation of any reasonable expenses incurred by the victim
- referral to counselling, education programmes, addiction treatment or other programmes that might help the defendant deal with personal issues
- undertaking a specified number of community service hours.
If the defendant completes their diversion conditions, the charge is withdrawn and the defendant has no conviction. If the defendant fails to complete their diversion conditions, the matter will be referred back to court.
The police diversion officer will contact you to get your views before diversion is offered but sometimes the defendant will be offered diversion even when you don’t think they should.
You might be able to attend a restorative justice meeting with the defendant on diversion. You can talk to the police diversion officer about this.
More information about diversion