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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Cumbrian criminals forced to see impact of crimes on victims

More criminals will be made to see at first hand the impact their activities have on their victims.

Cumbria police will be looking to increase the number of out-of-court disposals through the recently introduced restorative justice programme.

From July to September 2013, 78 crimes were “disposed of” by community resolutions, 3.57 per cent of the 2,187 crimes in the period.

Community resolutions focus on forcing the offender to deal with the consequences of their crime and aim to cut re-offending and reduce the costs.

Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Graham said: “I am confident in saying the number of community resolutions will increase.

“We’re trying to do the right thing for the victim but put involvement in to help stop re-offending.”

Mr Graham told a meeting of Cumbria police and crime commissioner’s executive board that factors such as the heavy involvement in alcohol would have an impact.

Where possible the cases would be referred to alcohol treatment centres rather than criminal prosecution.

Richard Rhodes, police and crime commissioner for Cumbria, said: “Public confidence in this system is vital if it’s going to work.

“I know magistrates are concerned about it because some of the cases would go through the courts and the suggestion is that this is a quick way to support more courts being closed.”

Bernard Lawson, Cumbria’s temporary chief constable, said: “This could benefit young people whose future chance of employment could be affected where at times they’ve done something that is stupid, rather than bad.”

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