Derbyshire restorative justice scheme used 12,000 times

A system where those committing minor crimes offer compensation or an apology has been used more than 12,000 times in Derbyshire.

The restorative justice initiative was adopted by the county's police in 2009 with the aim of reducing bureaucracy and speeding up justice.

The victim, offender and police must all agree before it is used.

Police said the system had saved time and reduced reoffending but critics said it was used inconsistently.

'Important tools'

In June, a joint report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate said while out of court powers were important criminal justice tools, on a national level they were not used consistently.

But Supt Terry Branson said: "Restorative justice saves thousands of officer hours, reduces reoffending 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."

Earlier this month two 12-year-old boys wrote letter of apology and agreed to pay compensation after stealing a 73-year-old Derby woman's mobility scooter.

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