A scheme to crack down on shoplifters reoffending in Eastbourne has been launched.
The pilot project, called Restoring Eastbourne, is aimed at first-time offenders of shoplifting in Eastbourne aged 12 years and over.
Restoring Eastbourne has been developed in partnership between the Safer East Sussex Team, Eastbourne Business Crime Group and Reformed Eastbourne, funded by Eastbourne Joint Action Group.
Offenders can be referred into the scheme by Sussex Police through the Community Resolution process.
Delivered by Charmaine Sewell, Eastbourne Reformed Services, offenders will firstly take part in a discussion focusing on the impact that shoplifting has on the local community, followed by a session of unpaid work in order to make some amends for the negative impact their actions have caused.
Adam Godden, specialist advisor for Business Crime, Eastbourne Business Crime Group, said, “This is something that the Eastbourne Business Crime Group has been keen to provide to the community to ensure there is a robust diversion scheme in place to provide an early intervention to prevent repeat offending.”
Elize Manning, restorative justice and community resolution co-ordinator for East Sussex Division of Sussex Police, added, “Community Resolution is a process that can be applied to a wide range of incidents where it is not appropriate to prosecute the offender and in Eastbourne we were seeing a high number of tickets issued for shoplifting offences.
“Through the process the aggrieved store chooses from a list of options called the Community Remedy list to decide what action is taken against the offender.
“One of the options is to refer the offender onto a rehabilitative or diversionary activity if one is available.
“Restoring Eastbourne will provide this option to victims of shoplifting, so offenders can understand the impact and harm caused to their community by what they may perceive to be an insignificant act.”
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