Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe, in partnership with North Yorkshire Police, is consulting with the public on a new list of Community Remedy options – options that will provide victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour with a say in how offenders should be held to account.
The Community Remedy process supports the victim to gain reassurance that their offender is remorseful, and, in some cases, tackling the root cause of their actions to prevent re-offending.
Each local policing body must have a Community Remedy document for it’s area that is informed by consultation with its communities. The aim is to promote public confidence in the out-of-court disposal process. This is a method for avoiding court proceedings and criminal charges when an offender is known and admits the offence. The offences would involve behaviours such as graffiti and low-level criminal damage.
Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for the ownership and reviewing of the document, in partnership with their Chief Constables.
The options Commissioner Zoë wants to hear the public’s views on are:
· Restorative Justice: An opportunity to bring those harmed and those responsible for the harm into communication with each other, in a safe and supported way.
· Verbal or written apology to the victim.
· Signing an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC): An opportunity for the offender to make a positive change in their behaviour by agreeing to particular conditions or actions e.g. participating in an educational programme or agreeing not to go to a particular area.
· A referral to a local rehabilitative, educational or diversionary activity, to support an improvement in behaviour: via a community-based support scheme.
· Personal/Community Reparation: e.g. repairing or paying for the damage caused.
· Mediation to support the resolution of disputes.
For every case, the suitability of the options will depend on the nature of the offence, the age of the offender and the circumstances. The process ultimately gives victims a say in how offenders can make amends without the need for criminal charges.
Commissioner Zoë said:
“Anti-social behavioural problems can cause misery in communities, and I want members of the public to feel empowered by the Community Remedy, in that they have a say in the best way to prevent re-offending and feel reassured by the actions taken by the police.
“Please complete the short survey to inform my decision on the final options.”
Lisa Winward, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police said:
“The Community Remedy will provide victims of low level crime and anti-social behaviour with a greater say in how an offender is held to account for their actions. We know that crimes and behaviour of this kind can take their toll on individuals and communities and I welcome the Commissioner’s survey to better understand the menu of remedial options that communities feel best fit the crime. This will help our officers, who will make the final decision, to ensure that victim’s views are taken into account regarding out of court resolution.”
Victims of crime, such as rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour, street drinking, littering, noise, animal problems, vehicle nuisance or trespass, will be able to discuss the finalised Community Remedy options with their local police officer dealing with the incident and provide their preferred course of action for the officer to consider.
The survey is running for seven weeks and will close on 10 January 2023. To complete the survey please visit: https://bit.ly/CommunityRemedySurvey