Criminals in North Yorkshire could make written apologies to victims
Last updated Nov 21, 2022
Zoe Metcalfe
North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe

Criminals could be asked to make written apologies to victims under new plans for policing in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe is consulting on a community remedy document.

Each local policing body must have a community remedy document for its area that is informed by consultation.

The document includes options for dealing with less serious crime and anti-social behaviour.

The options being considered in North Yorkshire include asking criminals to make verbal or written apologies or to sign acceptable behaviour contracts in which they pledge to change their behaviour.

Victims of crime, such as street drinking, littering, noise, animal problems, vehicle nuisance or trespass, will be able to discuss the finalised community remedy options with a police officer and provide their preferred course of action for the officer to consider.

Ms Metcalfe today opened a consultation on plans jointly drawn up with North Yorkshire Police.

The options people are asked to comment on are:

  • Restorative Justice: bringing together criminals and victims in a safe and supported way.
  • Verbal or written apology to victims.
  • Signing acceptable behaviour contracts in which offenders pledge to change 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.

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The community remedy process aims to support victims by giving them reassurance that their offender is remorseful. 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.

Causes ‘misery’

Ms Metcalfe 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.”

To take part in the seven-week survey, which closes on January 10, click here.