Frequently asked questions about the Police Adult Diversion Scheme
- What is diversion?
- When can diversion be considered?
- Who is eligible for diversion?
- How does diversion work?
- If I want diversion what will I have to do?
- What are my rights in relation to diversion?
- How can I find out more about diversion?
What is diversion?
Diversion is a scheme that has been operating for almost two decades, which provides an opportunity for Police to deal with some offences and/or offenders without going through formal court prosecution.
The purposes of diversion are to:
- address offending behaviour that has resulted in charges
- balance the needs of victims, the offender and their communities
- give offenders an opportunity to avoid conviction
- reduce re-offending.
Diversion involves an offender agreeing to fulfil certain conditions in exchange for the charges being withdrawn. The charges are withdrawn only once the conditions have been fulfilled. The benefit of this scheme is that it provides an incentive for non-recidivist offenders involved with low level offending to be punished and take responsibility for their actions without receiving a conviction.
When can diversion be considered?
There are several key criteria for determining when diversion should be considered. Firstly it is important that there is sufficient evidence and public interest in pursuing the prosecution of case. Once this burden has been established the following factors need to be satisfied:
- generally, it is the offender's first offence (unless the offence is dissimilar to earlier offending or the offender has not offended for more than five years)
- the offence is not serious
- the offender has accepted full responsibility for the offences as described in the summary of facts
- the offender has been explained their legal rights
- the offender agrees to the