‘New justice’ is a success - cops

More than 12,000 crimes in Derbyshire have now been dealt with by Restorative Justice – an initiative launched to reduce bureaucracy and deal swiftly with minor crime.

The project, introduced by Derbyshire Constabulary, has been running since April 2009 and 12,213 crimes have now been resolved by way of Restorative Justice.

Under the scheme, crimes are dealt with in accordance with the victims’ wishes without the case going through the court process.

The crime is recorded as usual but dealt with in a more proportionate way. For example, if a man broke his neighbour’s window and admitted the offence, he could offer an apology, reparation or compensation to the victim, if this is the outcome the victim favoured.

Superintendent Terry Branson said: “If a victim requests an alternative to the criminal justice system to deal with local minor crime, officers have been trained to use their professional judgement based on their discretion, policing experience and skills to resolve the incident.

“Restorative Justice saves thousands of officer hours, reduces re-offending rates and most importantly, provides satisfaction for victims of crime.

“People dealt with in this way often see their actions as a wake-up call and do not go on to commit further crimes.”

l Three teenage boys were caught shoplifting from Primark in Chesterfield. They returned the items, wrote a letter of apology and were banned from the store.

l Police received a report that a man had damaged a fence in South Normanton during the early hours of August 20. Officers found the offender, who agreed to pay for the damage.

l A 12-year-old girl was with a group of friends in the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton on August 8 when the group took her mobile phone and it ended up in the river.

A 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy agreed to pay for the phone and the boy, who had come to police attention previously, was taken on a tour of the cells by officers.

l A man admitted he had smashed a taxi windscreen in Glossop on August 6. He agreed to pay for the damage he had caused.

l In Wirksworth on July 31, a woman reported that her wiper blade had been damaged. Her neighbour admitted causing the damage and agreed to pay for it.

Supt Branson added: “It is a purely voluntary process which both the victim and the offender must agree to.”