Tuesday, 27 August 2013

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

 Four teenagers have cleaned up community areas in Long Eaton and Borrowash to apologise for their actions. 

The teenagers, all 14 years of age entered a haulage yard in Borrowash back in May and looked around the old vehicles and sheds. They attempted to take some hubcaps and tools when the yard owner spotted the youngsters and contacted local officers. PC James Crookall from the local Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team attended and between the victim and the youngsters and their parents, a Restorative Justice disposal was proposed. The yard owner agreed with local officers that Restorative Justice deemed to be the right decision for all involved, especially if the youngsters learnt from it. 

The group of teenagers, agreed to spend the day with Erewash Council Parks Refuse Team to help clean two local neighbourhood areas as part of their punishment. Two of the boys helped to clean the borough’s parks including the emptying of bins and litter picking on Wednesday, August 7th. The other two assisted the Refuse Team in the Borrowash area, cleaning pavements, public areas and emptying bins. 

Alan Carvell who works for Erewash Council Parks Refuse Team and supervised the youngsters on both days, said: 
“This is a good lesson for the lads, doing something they wouldn’t normally do. We’ve made sure they do the job and do it properly. I think they did feel some embarrassment especially when some of their friends turned up to watch them, but if the outcome means they won’t get into trouble again then it works out for everyone.”

Restorative Justice sees offenders apologise for their crime and help repair any damage or carry out community work instead of going through the courts. Ultimately the victim of any crime has to agree to the process and be happy with the outcome. Two of the boys commented on how they felt and agreed that it was a good option for them as well, particularly as one said: 
“I don’t really want to do this again but it was better than having a conviction. If that was the only option then it would have spoilt my chances of getting the job I want when I leave school.”

PC Crookall, said: “This is a great example of having a system in place that works for everyone. The boys have not been in trouble before and they were very sorry for causing the yard owner concern and worry. They were very co-operative and owned up to what they had done and were keen to put it right. They carried out their punishment with respect, and the respective parents of each child were fully supportive of the action taken. Hopefully it will prevent any further trouble from them, now they realise what could have happened and that a conviction on their record has been avoided.”


Restorative Justice was brought in by police in April 2009 to enable officers to use their professional judgment to resolve minor crimes swiftly and in accordance with the victims’ wishes. The crime is recorded as usual but dealt with in a more proportionate way, without the case going through the court process. For more information on restorative visit www.restorativejustice.org.uk|.