Victims of antisocial behaviour to decide on punishment
Oct 18, 2012
Victims of antisocial behaviour are to decide how offenders are punished under a "community remedy" power to be detailed by Theresa May in a speech at the Conservative party conference.
The home secretary will say on Tuesday that she wants to change the law to empower victims to ensure they get some form of reparation by choosing from a "menu" of punishment options that would include a form of restorative justice.
....The home secretary told the Daily Mail the "community remedy" would be used for low-level crime, such as criminal damage, which would normally be dealt with by a caution. Last year, 272,000 cautions were handed out for such antisocial behaviour. The police and crime commissioners will decide what "menu" of punishments should be available for victims to choose from.
An offender who refused to accept the punishment would face court proceedings as an alternative.
"One of the big problems for the victims of antisocial behaviour is that they feel powerless," May told the newspaper. "Somebody does something to them or their property and they feel they don't get reparation, or feel they are not part of the process.
"We want to ensure that they have a choice. It will mean saying to the victim: 'Here's a list of options, what do you want to do?' They may choose to go down the restorative route, and that they want someone to say sorry.