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Thames Valley, England

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Winship, Peter. Thames Valley Police: Primary Inspection - September 1998
The Thames Valley Police are noted for their leading efforts at exploring the integration of restorative justice and policing. Hence, this inspection of the work of the Thames Valley Police is particularly relevant to those interested in restorative justice. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary conducted this inspection between September 14 and 18, 1998. The aim was to examine the formulation and implementation of strategy planning arrangements and certain other issues. As reported in this document, the inspection covered the following topics with respect to the Thames Valley Police: strategy and planning; analysis of performance in areas such as crime management, public order management, police and community relations, and restorative justice; and additional issues such as surveillance, information technology, and complaints.
Thames Valley Police. Thames Valley Police Chief Constable's Annual Report 1999-2000
In this report, the Thames Valley Police describe their activities and initiatives for the year 1999-2000. According to the report, the main goal of the Thames Valley Police is to cooperate with communities to reduce crime, disorder, and fear. This report offers information about major crimes in the area, including information about murders, drug cases, and burglary rates. There is a chapter on reducing hate crimes that describes the community and race relations initiative that was launched by the Thames Valley Police to tackle the problem of intolerance. The report also describes other police-community partnerships undertaken during the year. One of these initiatives resulted in the "Fighting the Fear" campaign that focused on reducing community fear of crime while highlighting successful police operations. Also in this report is information about how the Thames Valley Police promote restorative justice through the use of restorative justice units and the newly created Youth Offending Teams (YOTs), which are designed to prevent juvenile criminal behavior. Information about the Force's Traffic Department is also offered in this report, as is information about the people who make up the police force. For those interested in joining the Thames Valley Police force, this report contains information about recruiting and about how to obtain more information on-line about careers in law enforcement. Finally, the report explains how calls to the police are handled and how crimes are recorded by the police. Statistical crime information is offered for notifiable offences that were recorded by the police. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
Wilcox, Aidan and Young, Richard. How Green was Thames Valley?: Policing the Image of Restorative Justice Cautions.
In 1994, Thames Valley Police (in the UK) began experimenting with restorative justice cautioning, in the Milton Keynes area. Other pilot programmes (most notably in Aylesbury) soon followed. The initiative was enthusiastically promoted by the then Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, Sir Charles Pollard. One of his central claims was that re-offending rates had declined from 30% to 4% in Aylesbury as a result of restorative cautioning. This remarkable claim was instrumental in persuading key individuals, both within and outside Thames Valley Police, that greater use should be made of restorative methods within criminal justice. This paper subjects that claim to empirical scrutiny (and finds it baseless) as well as exploring what this episode reveals about the nature of relations between the police and the media. (author's abstract).
Thames Valley Police. Thames Valley Police Chief Constable's Annual Report 1998-1999.
This annual report for the Thames Valley Police highlights the major efforts and directions for policing in the Thames Valley area for 1998-1999 and beyond. As indicated in the Chief Constable’s foreword, the focus has been on development of a problem-solving approach to policing, both for crime prevention and for resolution of crimes that occur. Additionally, the police have worked closely with local authorities to forge new statutory partnerships under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and they have extended the principles and uses of restorative justice across the police force. The principal application was the restorative conference, a process whereby trained police facilitators bring together young offenders, their families, and the victims of their crimes to acknowledge and address the harm caused by the crime or crimes. The report covers key statistics on crime and policing, initiatives in local communities, and specific policing areas or issues (e.g., road safety, racism, crime prevention, and restorative justice).
Hoyle, Carolyn and Young, Richard. New Improved Police-Led Restorative Justice
Following experimentation beginning in the mid 1990s, the Thames Valley Police initiated a formal program of restorative cautioning in the spring of 1998. It was the first step in a larger program of restorative-oriented change within the Thames Valley Police. In this context, the restorative cautioning initiative has proven to be the most significant development to date. Hence, the Thames Valley Police’s restorative cautioning was the subject of a three-year research project – an action-research project in that the researchers were committed to assisting the police to improve their practices. The researchers collected qualitative and quantitative data through observing and tape-recording restorative processes, and also through interviews with all the participants. In this chapter, Young and Hoyle present certain findings from that research. The chapter covers the significance and scale of the Thames Valley Police initiative; the reasons from an action-research strategy; and findings on the quality and outcomes of this particular restorative justice process. The research findings, focused on the actual process of restorative justice as delivered within a policing context, illuminate the developing practice of police-led restorative justice in the United Kingdom.
Pollard, Charles.. Restorative Justice and Police Complaints
Pollard, chief constable in the Thames Valley Police (United Kingdom), points to the extensive use of restorative justice principles and practices in policing in the Thames Valley. At the same time, he notes the need to introduce such principles and practices into the police handling of complaints against officers (whether the complaints come from within the force or from citizens who have had encounters with officers). He therefore proposes ways to make restorative justice the approach for dealing with complaints against police.
Hoyle, Carolyn and Hill, Roderick and Young, Richard. Proceed with caution: An evaluation of the Thames Valley Police initiative in restorative cautioning
This document reports the main findings of a research evaluation of the Thames Valley Police model of restorative cautioning. The Thames Valley Police model of restorative cautioning involves a police officer inviting all those affected by an offense to a session to engage in a structured dialogue about the offense and its ramifications. With the officer as facilitator, the session is conducted according to a "script," an order for explanatory statements, questions, and prompts. Scripted conferences constitute one type of practice being applied within the framework of restorative justice. Through their research, the authors sought a qualitative evaluation of the Thames Valley Police cautioning initiative -- what did participants think of the process? In this report on their findings, including a case study used as an example, they discuss the following areas: the improvement of restorative cautioning through research; procedural fairness; participant's views on the achievements of the restorative session; long term aims of cautioning for victims and offenders; and the place of restorative justice in the criminal justice system. Appendices to the report include a sample interview schedule, the self-reporting instrument, and results from and reliability of the self-reporting instrument.
Thames Valley Police. Crime Reduction Strategy 2000/2005
Thames Valley Police is well positioned to implement this Strategy. We have been working in partnership with local authorities and other agencies for some time and so the framework is already in place to develop the Crime and Disorder Act and reduce crime through partnership. We have been the leading Force in terms of innovative ideas for social crime reduction. The competing demands on our officers in terms of abstractions for public order events are now over and we are determined to improve our detection rate. All of those factors will combine to see us reduce crime over the next five years. (excerpt)
Wilcox, Aidan and Hoyle, Carolyn and Young, Richard. Two-year resanctioning study: a comparison of restorative and traditional cautions
This study reports the results of a 24-month resanctioning study of restorative and traditional cautions. The work follows on from a previous study of restorative cautions in Thames Valley (Hoyle et al., 2002) which found that around one-quarter of offenders reported that they had either desisted from crime or reduced their offending at least in part because of the restorative caution. The aim of the current study was to investigate this finding further through a large-scale resanctioning study. The first part of the analysis compared the resanctioning rates of over 29,000 offenders in Thames Valley and the two comparison forces controlling for relevant offender characteristics. The second analysis compared the different types of caution within Thames Valley, again controlling for offender characteristics. The impact of restorative cautioning on various subgroups of offenders was also considered, as well as the frequency and seriousness of subsequent offending. Taking the results of the analyses together, there was no evidence to suggest that restorative cautioning had resulted in a statistically significant reduction in either the overall resanctioning rate or the frequency or seriousness of offending. Importantly, there was also no evidence that restorative justice had increased resanctioning rates. Although reliable cost data were not available, the cost per caution in Thames Valley is likely to have been less than in comparable schemes. It is also important to note that Hoyle et al. had demonstrated the many other benefits of the initiative for both victims and offenders. Authors' abstract.
Restorative Justice Innovations by the Thames Valley Police Force
The Thames Valley Police Force has led the movement toward restorative justice in the United Kingdom by shifting to a problem-solving paradigm.
Dobry, Josephine. A view from the Police Complaints Authority
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) in England is an independent organization established by Parliament. Receiving and deciding on thousands of recorded complaints against the police each year, it has powers to supervise the most serious and high profile of such complaints. The PCA has been collaborating with the Thames Valley Police since 1998 to introduce the principles of restorative justice into the complaints process. On this basis, and following a period of consultation and planning, a pilot project was launched in the Thames Valley in the spring of 2000. Jo Dobry, a member of the PCA, discusses the reasons for a restorative approach in the complaints process and the prospects for profound change in the complaint system.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation. An evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of an initiative in restorative cautioning
In 1998, Thames Valley Police launched a restorative cautioning initiative, whereby police officers administering cautions were meant to invite all those affected by the offence, including victims, to a meeting. The police officer used a script to facilitate a structured discussion about the harm caused by the offence and how this could be repaired. Richard Young and Carolyn Hoyle of Oxford University helped the police to implement this new way of cautioning, and carried out a formal evaluation of the process and the outcomes achieved. The researchers found that: Thames Valley Police was largely successful in transforming its cautioning practice. The restorative justice script was used in over two-thirds of cautions. Over the first three years of the initiative, 1,915 restorative conferences took place at which victims were present. In a further 12,065 restorative cautions, the views of any absent victims were relayed by the cautioning officer. This is the largest-scale restorative justice programme in the United Kingdom to date. Implementation of the restorative cautioning model in individual cautions was often deficient. Police facilitators sometimes sidelined the other participants and occasionally asked illegitimate questions. By the end of the research project implementation was much better, although still not always good. Offenders, victims and their respective supporters were generally satisfied with the fairness of the process and the outcomes achieved. Cautioning sessions that adhered most closely to restorative justice principles tended to produce the most positive outcomes. Restorative cautioning appears to be significantly more effective than traditional cautioning in reducing the risk of re-offending. (excerpt)
Dobry, Josephine. Restorative justice and police complaints: A Report by the Independent Police Complaints Authority
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is the independent body that oversees complaints against serving police officers in England and Wales. In this report for the PCA, Josephine Dobry examines prospects for the application of restorative justice principles and processes to the handling of complaints against police. In other words, if restorative justice can be used in the criminal justice system to respond to offenses, can it be used when offenses are committed by the police? To answer, Dobry explains the principles and practices of restorative justice; applies them to the police complaints process; details the use of restorative justice for police complaints in New South Wales and the Thames Valley Police; and surveys various alternative means of dealing with police complaints in other police forces in England and Wales.
Pollard, Charles.. "If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems will look like nails."
Pollard maintains that a fundamental limitation in policing has been that the police only had the traditional criminal law and criminal justice processes to deal with a wide range of problems in communities, many of which would be better addressed through other approaches. Restorative justice, raising fundamental questions about the traditional criminal justice system, presents the possibility of a shift in police culture to a more problem-oriented, community style of policing. With this in mind, Pollard looks at policing and problem-solving in a civil society, the evolution of restorative justice in the Thames Valley Police, community safety and the limitations of the formal criminal justice system, limitations in the formal trial system, community safety and restorative justice, and prospects for advancing restorative justice in the national and international spheres.
If Your Only Tool is A Hammer, All Your Problems Will Look Like Nails
Pollard maintains that a fundamental limitation in policing has been that the police only had the traditional criminal law and criminal justice processes to deal with a wide range of problems in communities, many of which would be better addressed through other approaches. Restorative justice, raising fundamental questions about the traditional criminal justice system, presents the possibility of a shift in police culture to a more problem-oriented, community style of policing. With this in mind, Pollard looks at policing and problem-solving in a civil society, the evolution of restorative justice in the Thames Valley Police, community safety and the limitations of the formal criminal justice system, limitations in the formal trial system, community safety and restorative justice, and prospects for advancing restorative justice in the national and international spheres.
Pollard, Charles.. Restorative Justice, Problem-Solving and Community Policing
Under the general topic of restorative justice and the role of the police, Sir Charles Pollard focuses in this paper on restorative justice, problem-solving, and community policing. As Pollard notes, the role and function of the police in many countries fit within a similar framework: bring to justice those who break the law by arresting, detaining, or summoning them; and work with prosecutors to bring offenders before a court of law. He cites the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the United States as, at one time, an exemplar of this approach: fast, forceful reaction to law-breaking. However, as became clear in the 1992 riots following the Rodney King incident, the LAPD was out of touch with the city’s communities. Pollard contrasts this with a more restorative justice, problem-solving approach to policing: preventive, proactive, community-rooted, and community-oriented. To illustrate this approach, he highlights the work of the Thames Valley Police in England, particularly its Milton Keynes Retail Theft Initiative.
Home Office. Chapter 5: Restorative Justice Operational Considerations (Conditional Cautioning - RJ Guidance to Early Implementation Areas)
A Conditional Caution is a new way of dealing with certain criminal offences and involves an offender agreeing to comply with conditions to avoid being prosecuted. Restorative Justice can be used as part of the Conditional Cautioning process, either as a condition of the offender's caution, or as the means by which the victim and offender propose the conditions that could be attached to the Conditional Caution. Two of the Conditional Cautioning early implementation areas will be using RJ (West Mercia and Thames Valley). The evaluation of all the early implementation areas will allow us to compare the effectiveness of RJ conditional cautions and non-RJ conditional cautions, in terms of victim satisfaction, offender compliance with conditions, and re-offending rates. The experience of the early implementation areas will be used to refine the guidance before wider roll out. The RJ Operational Considerations have been developed to guide forces in the early implementation areas when using RJ and should only be used in the in the early implementation areas for Conditional Cautioning. They are part of a wider set of operational considerations for the early implementation areas (that includes information for all the organisations involved in the scheme) and should be read alongside Code of Practice for Conditional Cautioning and the Director's Guidance on Conditional Cautioning : Guidance to police officers and Crown Prosecutors issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions under Section 37A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

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