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Restorative justice hailed as a success by police
9:45am Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
POLICE have hailed the success of a scheme that allows victims to choose what punishment criminals should be given.
The Greater Manchester force introduced Restorative Justice (RJ) in 2010 and across Bury in 2012, it was implemented almost twice a day on average.
RJ is often used as an alternative to court action, where offenders write letters of apology, repair vandalism or do voluntary work.
A recent case involved a young boy who shouted racist abuse at a Jewish man who was travelling through Prestwich on his way to a football police. Police tracked down the offender, but the victim did not wish to take the matter to court.
Officers arranged a meeting between the offender, the victim and a holocaust victim and the offender wrote an apology.
In January, 2012, four boys were ordered to watch a video showing the dangers of lighting fires after they put a lit cigarette through the letterbox of an 86-year-old woman in Whitefield.
Afterwards, community fire safety officer Howard Hughes said: “I could see on their faces that they were moved. They were shocked and nearly in tears.”
Supt Mark Granby, of Bury police, said: “RJ gives victims more of a say on how offenders are dealt with, as well as making them directly accountable to the people they have caused harm to.
“In many instances, RJ enables offenders to come face-to-face with victims and see first-hand the effect that their crime has had.
“We often find that offenders show more remorse and are less likely to re-offend in the future (than if they had been taken to court).”
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