Common sense justice is a £1M hit in Derbyshire, UK
Sep 14, 2009
from the article on derbyshire.co.uk:
Restorative justice gives the victim a say in how an offender is dealt with.
Young vandals who cause damage can be forced to repair it and apologise to the property owner, and minor assaults can be dealt with by attackers agreeing to pay compensation to their victims.
In each case, the situation is resolved without court action, saving thousands of hours of police time and preventing youngsters from getting criminal records. Police say that since the scheme was introduced in Derbyshire in April, more than 1,600 crimes have been dealt with using the new powers....
....Supt Branson said although the restorative justice scheme had benefited the force, he emphasised it was introduced for victims of crime. He said: "It has reduced bureaucracy and paperwork but this is something that was introduced for the benefit of victims and to get better results for them."
Supt Branson said 95% of victims dealt with through restorative justice were satisfied with the outcome.
During a meeting of Derbyshire Police Authority, Assistant Chief Constable Peter Goodman said 1,600 officers had been trained to use restorative justice. A further 197 police community support officers have also been trained.
Mr Goodman said that, since the scheme was introduced, there had been fewer arrests and fewer people in custody.
On August 23, six boys daubed graffiti on a slide and playing wall at Granby Park in Ilkeston. They were identified by officers and, after admitting what they had done, were each made to clean up the graffiti and apologise.
On May 30, two drunken 18-year-old men were caught kicking a car in Langley Mill. Police negotiated for them to pay £250 to the victim to cover insurance excess to fix the damage.
In April, taxi driver Shahid Malik had his cab vandalised when a passenger broke the radio aerial. The passenger sent a letter of apology to Mr Malik, of Littleover, and paid for the damage.
The 49-year-old said: "I was very happy with how my case was dealt with. Taxi drivers rarely report things like this but my case should encourage them to do so because they can get something out of it.
"Drivers don't think it is worthwhile reporting small things like this because it happens regularly and they don't want to waste their time. The new way of dealing with this type of crime changes that."
In April, officers dealt with 171 crimes by restorative justice, 304 in May, 411 in June and 472 in July. In that month, 26% of all crime was dealt with using restorative justice.
The Derby Telegraph has reported that Derbyshire police are being under-funded by the Government for around £6m.
A spokeswoman for the force said restorative justice was one of the ways it was trying to make savings.