Chapter 5
Devising and consulting on draft penalty categories

Determining penalty categories

5.1Having finalised our ranking, we then turned to Step 6 of our methodology: the development of draft penalty categories. The adjusted ranked list from Step 5 was divided into a number of categories using natural breaks that appeared between clusters of offences. The result grouped offences of similar seriousness together in the same penalty category. The categories that we developed for this purpose (after the adjustments described in this chapter) are set out in Appendix D.

5.2We found that our scoring tool was not always sensitive enough to make the necessary distinctions between one offence and another and that there was a need to shift some offences to a higher or lower penalty category in order to adequately distinguish them from other cognate offences. For example:

5.3We also found that some offences that were close to the cusp between penalty categories needed to be shifted to a higher or lower category in order to ensure that cognate offences that on their face belong together were not being placed in different categories. For example: