Hundreds of criminals say sorry to victims

Scot Mackenzie

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MORE than 700 offences have been dealt with by criminals apologising to the people they have harmed.

Sussex Police is one of the first forces to pilot a new scheme called community resolutions.

Instead of being punished by the courts, offenders have to make amends to the victims of the crime.

Since January, scores of offences have been dealt with in this way.

It is mainly targeted at less serious crimes such as criminal damage and anti-social behaviour.

A conference of police and local authorities heard of one example where a 19-year-old student had damaged a neighbour’s motorbike on the walk back home from the pub.

The student apologised face to face to the victim and paid out £625 of his savings to repair the motorbike.

Nick Wilkinson, Assistant Chief Constable, said: ‘Since community resolution launched on January 14, 2,700 police officers and staff have been trained in it.

‘It allows them to use their own discretion and judgement while being victim-led. It is consistent with Sussex Police’s core values of compassion, courage, justice and public service.’