TREAD referral scheme
What is Tread?
‘TREAD’, which stands for ‘Transformation Resolution Education Adult Diversion’ is a new team which was set up by Northumbria Police in September 2021. Northumbria Police estimate that of the 12,000 cases per year that result in a charge, 7,000 of these relate to minor offences. The aim of the ‘TREAD’ team is to reduce the pressure on the Court caused by these minor offences and issue out of court disposals, such as conditional cautions, wherever possible. We at David Gray Solicitors have seen a recent increase in the amount of investigations which have been resolved by way of ‘TREAD’ referral.
What does Tread involve?
The first stage in the process is that the Police will assess each case at the point of interview to check potential eligibility for a ‘TREAD’ referral. In order for a case to be eligible, the Police must consider various factors, such as:
- Is it a minor offence which doesn’t involve any breach of trust?
- Does the suspect reside in the Northumbria Force area?
- Does the suspect have previous convictions or cautions which would prevent them from being eligible?
- Would the suspect be willing to comply with any conditions imposed as part of an out of court disposal?
Most significantly for us to consider as lawyers, is there sufficient evidence that the Police could charge our client and send them to court?
Are you eligible for an out-of-court disposal?
It is also essential in the vast majority of cases that the offence must be fully admitted to be suitable for an out of court disposal. This is just one of the many reasons why it is extremely important that you have a legal representative present at any interview with the Police. You may think you are doing right following advice of your family or friends and “saying nothing” but in fact, you may just end up in Court and with a conviction which could have been easily avoided. If you instruct David Gray Solicitors as your legal representatives, we will make every effort to avoid your case going to Court if you meet the eligibility criteria for an out-of-court disposal.
Once a referral is made by the Officer in charge of your case, the ‘TREAD’ team must consider whether or not to accept it. If they decide that your case is not eligible, it will be sent back to the Officer to decide on alternative ways to proceed, which may be charging you with the offence. Accordingly, it is not guaranteed that your case will stay out of Court even if a referral is made and it is important to comply with the team throughout the process.
The final stage is that the ‘TREAD’ team will issue the appropriate out-of-court disposal, which will bring an end to the matter. If this outcome contains conditions, again it is very important to comply with them or you are at risk of the matter being taken to Court. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible and we can arrange to represent you.
Can I avoid a conviction?
Any out-of-court disposal that you receive is not a conviction but will remain on the Police National Computer (PNC) and can be taken into consideration if you get into trouble again. It may also be disclosable to future employers. We can provide advice and representation against disclosure of such matters on an enhanced DBS check.
It is very important that you contact our team of experts if you are to be interviewed by the Police or have any queries regarding the disclosure of an out of court disposal on an enhanced DBS check.
Anyone who is to be interviewed by the Police under caution, either under arrest or by voluntary arrangement, is entitled to FREE and INDEPENDENT legal advice, regardless of your financial situation. We would always recommend you have a legal representative, whether you think you are guilty or not.
If you have any questions, or would like further information about the above, please contact us on 0191 232 9547.
NB: information obtained from: Northumbria Police Out of Court Disposal Pathways | Centre for Justice Innovation