Consultation launched into plans which could give crime victims the power to choose offender’s punishment

Sir Graham Bright. Sir Graham Bright.

Friday, July 4, 2014
9:50 AM

If you are a victim of crime in the future, you could get to have your say about the kind of punishment dished out to the culprit.

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From providing an apology – verbal or written – to getting the accused to make a donation to ­charity or pay compensation – these are just a few of the ‘punishments’ you could choose from under powers that come into force in October.

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sir Graham Bright has launched a public consultation to help decide how certain low-level offenders could be dealt with.

The list of ‘punishments’ could also involve the offender carrying out remedial work, such as repairing property or clearing litter, or taking part in mediation.

The system, known as community remedy, is part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, but it will only be open to first-time offenders and when the offence is not serious. Victims would also need to agree to its use.

Sir Graham said: “Putting real people – the victims – at the heart of all our work is something that we are extremely supportive of in Cambridgeshire.

“We are taking a leading and ­innovative approach in this respect. I hope that as many people as possible take the chance to have their say on this important change by completing the questionnaire on my website.”

The consultation will allow the PCC to devise a list of options ­available to victims of crime to choose from with the aim of finding a punitive element, making amends or addressing the causes of the perpetrator’s behaviour. It could be a combination of punishments.

The system is also seen as a way of reducing re-offending as there would be no court appearance or criminal record for the offender.

INFORMATION: Complete the questionnaire at http://cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/survey/community-remedy.

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