Criminals forced to say sorry to victims

General manager at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth, 

John Alderson, pictured when the club's two historical visitors books were returned

Theft charge dismissed as mystery of stolen books signed by Queen Victoria goes on

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A POLICE scheme is well under way to get offenders to make amends to the people they have harmed.

Sussex Police is piloting a new form of punishment called Community Resolutions.

Instead of being punished by the state, offenders are forced to apologise and make amends to people affected by their crimes.

The scheme is aimed at dealing with nuisance behaviour, damage, theft and minor assaults.

The first use of the power came at a Morrisons supermarket last month when a shop manager accepted a letter of apology from two teenagers who had stolen chocolate bars from the store.

Since its introduction last month, 47 cases have been resolved using Community Resolutions.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Wilkinson said: ‘Community Resolution provides officers with the opportunity to make professional and discretionary judgements about whether or not the formal criminal justice system should be invoked.’