The introduction of a community remedy for Norfolk aims to give victims of crime in the county a greater say in how people who commit low-level crime or anti-social behaviour (ASB) are dealt with.
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act places a statutory duty on all Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to develop a list of community remedies. Working with statutory and non-statutory agencies, victim support organisations and communities, your PCC, Stephen Bett, developed a list of options upon which he then consulted with the public of Norfolk.
The responses received to that consultation showed a great deal of support for community remedies in general, with many people embracing the overall aim of giving victims a stronger voice and a choice in how they get justice. There were varied responses on which of the suggested options individuals would themselves choose should they find themselves in that position. There was also a feeling that victims should be able to choose more than one remedy, that remedies should be carried out in the area where the crime was committed, and that their use should be restricted to use with first-time offenders only.
This feedback helped inform Stephen’s recommendations to Norfolk Police who are responsible for implementing Norfolk’s community remedy.
Norfolk’s Community Remedy
From Autumn 2014, victims of crime are able to have a say in the punishment of the offender from the following list of options if a police officer deems a community resolution is appropriate:
- Mediation (for example, to resolve a neighbour dispute)
- A written or face-to-face apology
- The perpetrator signing an Acceptable Behaviour Contract – where they agree not to behave anti-socially in the future – or face more formal consequences
- Victim-focused Restorative Justice (RJ). This would involve face-to-face restorative justice approaches between the victim and the offender (based on initial consultation with the victim)
- Repairing damage to property or cleaning graffiti
- Paying an appropriate amount for damage to be repaired or stolen property to be replaced
- Participation in structured activities that are either educational or rehabilitative
- Reparation to the community (for example, by doing local unpaid work for a short period, such as picking up litter in a park or on a beach).
Community Remedy FAQs
What is community remedy?
It is a process where a first-time offender, who has committed a low-level offence and who expresses regret for their actions, undertakes reparative work to put right the harm they have caused. It is not automatic but provides an alternative to going through the traditional court system which can absorb a great amount of time and taxpayers’ money.
When can community remedy be used?
Someone commits low-level crime or anti-social behaviour. They admit to the offence and the police officer considers that a community resolution is appropriate. Typically, community resolutions are used when dealing with low-level criminal damage, low value theft, minor assaults (without injury) and anti-social behaviour.
Why is community remedy important?
The process allows victims of crime to have a say in the punishment of offenders as well as an opportunity to meet them face-to-face. It enables the victims to understand why the offender committed the crime, as well as the offender understanding how much upset may have been experienced by the victim. The offender agrees to this course of action and the victim does not have to meet the offender unless they wish to.
How can you be sure the offender carries out their punishment?
The offender must provide proof that they have completed the action to the managing body. Once this has taken place, the matter is resolved.
More information on Norfolk’s Community Remedy
- Community Remedy - Final Report (PDF, 382.3 KB)
- Decision Notice 2014-42 - Adoption of a Community Remedy for Norfolk (PDF, 2.5 MB)