West Yorkshire Police try an unusual Christmas card
Dec 16, 2009
from the press release:
A ten year old girl's letter is the focal point of this year's Bradford
District Christmas burglary campaign. The letter was written to the man
who burgled her home and left her scared to return or go out in the
area. Amy Winteridge wrote down her feelings so that they could be read
out at a meeting her Mum had with the man who had burgled them as part
of West Yorkshire Probation Service's restorative justice process. On
reading the letter the man was visibly moved by what Amy had to say.
The letter is now the centre of a special Christmas card which will be sent out to known burglars across the Bradford District. It's hoped that it will make some of them think about their actions and how they affect children in the homes they target. The card will be hand delivered to a lot of the criminals and former criminals by Officers from Neighbourhood Policing Teams to give that extra personal reminder that the Police will be watching them in the run up to Christmas.
Chief Superintendent Alison Rose said: "This card looks just like any other Christmas card until you open it - then you see the letter written by Amy. It's a very emotive letter and should soften even the hardest heart. I hope that the criminals who receive the card read it and think about the words - some of them will have children or younger brothers and sisters and should consider how they would be affected by a burglary at their home."
John Bates - Restorative Justice Facilitator for West Yorkshire
Probation Service - said: "The Christmas card is an excellent
progression following the restorative justice conference where Amy's
letter was read to the offender. The whole idea of the restorative
process is to give a voice to the people harmed in order to try and
repair some of the damage caused. From initially meeting with Catherine
and Amy to seeing where they are now clearly evidences the benefits of
the process and subsequent Christmas card campaign."
Incidents of burglary often see a national increase in the run up to Christmas and Police are working to ensure that people know how to protect their homes and keep their belongings safe by taking simple measures. Over 100,000 households will also be receiving a Christmas card of their own this year which will offer them basic crime prevention advice. The cards will also be handed directly to Christmas shoppers across Bradford district.