Gloucestershire police to issue penalties to fit crimes

Gloucestershire police are to make their own decisions on whether to issue "on-the-spot" punishments for minor crimes instead of making an arrest.

For example, someone caught shoplifting in a supermarket could be made to pick up litter in its car park for an hour.

Issuing a penalty in proportion to a crime is known as community orientated policing (COP), the force said.

Victims could help decide an offender's punishment in related initiative called "restorative justice".

'People first'

A six-month trial of the COP system was carried out in the Cotswolds and Stroud last year.

Ch Supt John Clay said: "The introduction of community orientated policing and restorative justice is another step towards the Gloucestershire Constabulary's commitment to putting people first.

"It recognises that our police officers are professionals who police the county to the highest standards and will make the right decisions."

Community orientated policing will be fully rolled out in August 2010 followed by restorative justice in the autumn.

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