Justice scheme hailed a success

MORE than 12,000 crimes in Derbyshire, including some in Belper, have been dealt with via restorative justice.

The initiative, launched in April 2009, is aimed at reducing bureaucracy and dealing swiftly with minor crime.

Under the scheme, crimes are dealt with in accordance with the victims’ wishes without the case going through the court process. The crime is recorded as usual but dealt with in a more proportionate way.

For example, if a man broke his neighbour’s window and admitted the offence, he could offer an apology, reparation or compensation to the victim, if this is the outcome the victim favoured.

Supt Terry Branson said: “Restorative justice saves thousands of officer hours, reduces re-offending rates and most importantly, provides satisfaction for victims of crime.

“People dealt with in this way often see their actions as a wake-up call and do not go on to commit further crimes. It can also be used to deal with conflict wherever it arises, for example after neighbourhood disputes.”