WEST NORFOLK: Police teams use street form of restorative justice against youths

NEIGHBOURHOOD police teams across West Norfolk are using a street form of Restorative Justice to take swift action against youths involved in anti-social behaviour. In the most recent case, officers in King s Lynn used their discretionary powers to deal

NEIGHBOURHOOD police teams across West Norfolk are using a 'street' form of Restorative Justice to take swift action against youths involved in anti-social behaviour.

In the most recent case, officers in King's Lynn used their discretionary powers to deal with two youngsters found responsible for smashing glass in a neighbour's greenhouse.

During a single visit to the victim, officers from the Gaywood, Fairstead and Reffley Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) identified the boys involved and used the instant form of Restorative Justice (RJ) to secure an apology and compensation.

Gaywood SNT Sgt Howard Elvidge said: "The street RJ process means officers can resolve the matter quickly, in a proportionate manner and to everyone's satisfaction.

"The victim was happy with that the police took action and the youngsters, whose rogue football had caused the damage, were able to make amends and not be criminalised for a silly mistake."

Norfolk is one of only eight areas across the country to pilot this new scheme to tackle low level offending. The new Youth Restorative Disposal (YRD) holds 10 to 17 year olds to account for minor crime and disorder.

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RJ allows everyone directly affected by a particular crime to meet and decide what needs to be done to tackle the issue, resolve or repair the harm and prevent reoccurrences. It avoids youngsters being criminalised at an early age and gives them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes - while giving the victims a voice in the process.

Neighbourhood police teams, made up of police officers and PCSOs, work with partner agencies in local communities to identify and help resolve low level crime and issues affecting people's quality of life.

The Gaywood, Fairstead and Reffley SNT holds regular street briefings at popular community locations across the neighbourhood to meet with local residents and listen to their concerns.

Officers are currently working on the following priorities, raised as issues by local residents:

Shoplifting in Gaywood

Anti-social behaviour at Butterwick, Fairstead

Anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of Reffley Community Centre.

The next street briefings are due to be held as follows:

Anna's Caf�, Gaywood - For Portuguese speaking residents, 4pm to 6pm, Friday May 8th.

Tesco Gaywood - 11am to 12 noon, Saturday May 9th

Centrepoint, Fairstead - 2pm to 3pm, Saturday May 9th

Reffley Lane Shops - 11am to 12 noon, Sunday May 10th

To contact a member of the team call 0845 456 4567 or visit their web page at www.safernorfolk.co.uk

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