Restorative Justice programme used 164 times in first three months by Cleveland Police (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Restorative Justice programme used 164 times in first three months by Cleveland Police
RESTORATIVE Justice has been used by Cleveland Police 164 times since the new policy was adopted in May.
The approach gives victims a greater say over the punishment of trouble-causing youngsters who are first time offenders.
Police officers dealing with with first time offenders under the age of 18 have the option of consulting the victim of the crime about appropriate punishment, instead of putting the young person through the criminal justice system.
Making the youngsters remove graffiti or repairing criminal damage are the type of actions which have been used so far. It is not an option for more serious crimes.
PC Mark Wilkinson gave an example of where Restorative Justice has been used. The neighbourhood officer for Acklam, Middlesbrough began to investigate antisocial behaviour to Middlesbrough Golf Club. Young people were suspected of going onto the course, causing a nuisance for players and removing flags and golf balls.
A 12-year-old boy was caught with golf balls and flags. The boy was made to write a letter of apology to the golf club and hand delivered it alongside a family member and accompanied by PC Wilkinson. He also verbally apologised to staff, who were in agreement with using the Restorative Justice process.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: “While this approach is working well, it’s not a soft option and young people only get one chance to make a commitment to change their behaviour.”
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