Commissioner seeks views on Community Remedies
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison is asking the public for their views on how offenders who commit less serious crimes should make amends to society.
Community Remedy is aimed primarily at first time offenders who accept responsibility for anti-social behaviour and offences such as criminal damage and some thefts. It is an alternative to going to Court and receiving a criminal conviction whilst making amends to the victim of their behaviour. Research has shown that most victims are satisfied with this type of justice and offenders, usually those who have never been in trouble with the police before, are made more aware of the consequences of their behaviour and do not go on to commit further offences.
These Community Remedies can include:
- Paying for damage to be repaired or stolen property to be replaced.
- Repairing damage to property or cleaning graffiti.
- Doing local unpaid work such as picking up litter.
- Where appropriate, rehabilitation through alcohol, drug, education and counselling services
- Meeting or writing to the victim, hearing how the crime has affected them and apologising, a process known as Restorative Justice.
Jonathan said: “Victims of crime should have a greater say in the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders. For a less serious crime, for example anti-social behaviour or criminal damage the police will work with the victim and can impose a Community Remedy as an alternative to the offender going to Court. This is often a preferred option for victims as they know the offender has accepted responsibility and is seen to repay a debt to society or to the victim personally, which often provides closure for them.
Community Remedy is aimed primarily at first time offenders, who are often young people, to make them more responsible for the consequences of their actions and think twice about the effect it will have on their future before committing further offences. The alternative may be a police caution or having to go to Court, which could give them a criminal record and could affect their future chances of employment for years to come.
If they choose to ignore the chance they have been given and go on to commit further crimes, they may be liable to a more formal sanction through the criminal justice system.
Community Remedy is not a ‘soft option’, Court will always be the right place for serious and persistent offenders and those who do not improve their behaviour.”
Members of the public can give their opinions on Community Remedy by taking the quick survey on the PCC’s website. The survey closes on 17th March.
This survey has now closed
The use of Community Remedy has to meet certain criteria.
- A crime has occurred and there is sufficient evidence to prove it.
- The offender accepts responsibility or admits guilt for the offence, agrees to participate in a Community Remedy and is capable of understanding the situation and process. Where the offender is vulnerable or under 18, this must be done in the presence of an appropriate adult.
- Where a victim has been identified, the victim should be consulted and their views recorded, however, the ultimate decision to dispose of the case as a Community Remedy is for the police.
Posted on Thursday 2nd February 2023