Manchester

'Restorative justice' record for Greater Manchester Police

A "restorative justice" scheme was used a record number of times by Greater Manchester Police in a single month.

The scheme, which allows victims to decide what punishments criminals should be given, was introduced by the force in October 2010.

Greater Manchester Police said it had been used more than 600 times in October, and more than 4,000 times in the past year.

Police have said the scheme is a "slow-burning revolution".

Crimes dealt with by the scheme so far include a group of five youths who had to pay compensation to a Stockport farmer after they set fire to several bales of hay.

Face to face

Children in north Manchester were also told to apologise to a car owner after they damaged his vehicle by throwing stones at it.

The children's parents also agreed to pay for the repairs.

Police said almost two-thirds of all restorative justice cases in Greater Manchester have involved victims and offenders being brought face-to-face.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "It shows that not only are officers really grasping how to use restorative justice, but that more and more victims of crime are realising what a positive impact it can have.

"Restorative justice is all about repairing the harm someone has caused and giving victims more of a say in how an offender is dealt with.

"It is about putting what the victim wants at the heart of how we respond and giving them that voice.

"I firmly believe that restorative justice is a slow-burning revolution that will ultimately reduce crime and re-offending rates and I'm delighted that so many people in Greater Manchester are seeing the benefits."

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