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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Teen girl says sorry for graffiti at Carlisle shopping centre

A teenage vandal has apologised after admitting carrying out a graffiti spree at a shopping centre.

Lanes graffiti damage
The vandalised bench

The girl owned up to causing damage at The Lanes in Carlisle and a meeting was held involving the 14-year-old, her mother, police and management at the city store complex.

Officers said the centre agreed to use this method, known as restorative justice. It involves offenders answering to their victims.

Police say it has been used successfully and revealed earlier this month how none of the teenage shoplifters who had been dealt with in this way in Carlisle city centre had gone on to steal again.

A force spokeswoman said: “The girl had written a letter of apology, which was accepted by the manager.

“Everyone who was involved found the experience rewarding and were very satisfied with the outcome.”

The method is an alternative to prosecution. In Cumbria it is usually used with “low level” offenders who are under-17.

A typical case in Carlisle would feature a 14 or 15-year-old, stealing an item such as make-up or a deodorant.

They tend to be first-time offenders who admit what they have done.

In the graffiti attack a string of slogans were daubed on a wooden bench, a stone statue and a shop wall.

Bosses at The Lanes said at the time that the level of graffiti involved was “unprecedented” for the centre.

It was in one of the busiest places in the city, with thousands passing by each day. The graffiti was removed with specialist cleaning methods.

The damage was caused in the early hours of March 7. The meeting was held in recent days, police revealed.

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