A 54-year-old man popped into an Eastbourne restaurant and decided to takeaway a member of staff’s wages – as well as his food.
The cash had been left on the counter of the Thai House in Grove Road. The man swiped the cash while he was placing his order and was arrested when he returned to pick it up.
Whilst being interviewed by police, he admitted taking the money “in a moment of madness”. And his apology, in person, to the restaurant was so heartfelt that staff gave him a free meal.
As the offender had never had any dealings with the police before, and showed genuine remorse for his actions, the restaurant was offered the opportunity to resolve the matter by Community Resolution.
In accordance with their wishes, the man was asked to pay the money back and apologise to the staff. He attended the restaurant and returned the £170 cash, plus an extra £30 for the inconvenience he had caused, and handed them a written apology.
East Sussex Community Resolution co-ordinator Elize Shult said, “This is an excellent example of how community resolution is achieving customer satisfaction and how Sussex Police is dealing with incidents proportionately.
“Having made up for his actions in this way, the restaurant owners were so pleased that they sent him away with a free meal!”
Community Resolution was introduced by Sussex Police in January 2011. The process holds offenders directly accountable to the victim of their crime, encouraging them to recognise the impact of their behaviour and to make amends for what they’ve done.
The victim is able to play an active role in deciding how a situation is resolved, which has resulted in very high levels of victim satisfaction, and offenders do not receive a criminal record.
Police officers use their discretion to decide when it is appropriate to offer Community Resolution and it is primarily used for low level offences and offenders with no criminal history.