Sussex residents’ view on dealing with low-level crime

Sussex Police

Sussex Police

  • A Sussex Police survey asked the public how they would like low-level criminals to be punished
  • The top option was repairing any damage caused and making amends
  • Chief Constable Giles York said the new scheme would ‘reduce the burden’ on the criminal justice system
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Sussex Police has consulted residents on how they think low-level crime should be dealt with in the community.

A survey of more than 2,500 people living in Sussex, 68 per cent of which were victims of crime, showed the most popular community remedies.

These options put victims firmly in the driving seat, ensuring that offenders have to face immediate consequences for their actions and repair the harm caused.

Top of the list was getting criminals to repair or pay for damage and making amends to the victim.

The county’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said, “The public consultation attracted responses from almost 2,500 residents, which tells me that local people do want a say in how offenders of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour should be dealt with.

“The Chief Constable and I have reviewed that feedback and together we have developed five Community Remedy options for Sussex.

“Crucially, these options put victims firmly in the driving seat, ensuring that offenders have to face immediate consequences for their actions and repair the harm caused. This could make them less likely to reoffend in the future.

“The Community Remedy approach will remain under constant review to ensure that it is responsive and accountable to victims and members of the public in Sussex.”

Chief Constable Giles York said, “The introduction of Community Remedy gives victims a much greater say in how their case is resolved and how offenders can seek to remedy their actions. The Remedy enhances successful Community Resolution or Conditional Caution routes - often referred to as “out-of-court disposals” - and reduces the burden and expense placed on the criminal justice system.

“Following a public consultation the Police and Crime Commissioner and myself have developed a set of options from which victims will be able to decide what appropriate activity they wish the offender to undertake. This is another way we are changing our service to ensure that victims’ wishes are at the heart of our decision making.”

The five Community Remedy options that are available in Sussex are:

- Personal/Community Reparation e.g. repairing or paying for damage caused

- Restorative Justice e.g. parental contract, shuttle conference

- Receiving a written or oral apology

- A local rehabilitative or diversionary activity e.g. an acceptable behaviour contract, educational assignment or other forms of rehabilitation.

- Another agreed and proportionate activity specified by the victim.

The Sussex Community Remedy document is published online at www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/police-crime-plan/community-remedy-document/