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Victims to choose criminals' punishment

Redditch Editorial 21st Oct, 2014 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016

VICTIMS of crime in Redditch, Studley and Alcester are now able to choose an offender’s punishment following the launch of a new scheme.

Bill Longmore and Ron Ball, Police and Crime Commissioners for West Mercia and Warwickshire, believe the Community Remedies scheme offers a different approach to tackling low level crime such as anti-social behaviour and minor assaults.

It means for the first time victims will have a say in how an offender is punished by choosing from a list of options. The list includes an in person or written apology to the victim, a ban from named premises for a set time, financial compensation or an acceptable behaviour contract. Offenders can also be ordered to

put right their crime such as by cleaning or repairing damage.

Police officers will also be able to agree other forms of resolution with the victim.

It is hoped the scheme will deliver speedier justice by offering alternatives to court action. A community remedy can be implemented immediately by police if the victim and offender agree to it.

Mr Longmore said: “This new approach brings things back to the people, so those affected can have some influence in the way low-level incidents are dealt with. We consulted widely with partners and the public in developing this list of remedies and the result is something that is very positive.”

Mr Ball added the scheme marked a return to common sense policing.

“The public should be able to see the offender putting right what they have done wrong, or being asked to participate in an activity that deters them from re-offending.

“Too often, victims are left feeling dissatisfied waiting for lengthy court proceedings over low level crime. The new approach set out in the Community Remedy is swifter and more direct, and gives the victims a vital say in how the offender is punished.”

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