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Lib Dem Council plans for victims to have their say in tackling offenders

July 15, 2008 7:00 AM

Andrew Simpson, local PCSO and Cllr Tony WoodsLib Dem run Northampton Borough Council is proposing to pioneer a new idea to tackle crime in Northampton. Restorative justice panels force offenders to face up to the consequences of their actions and understand the harm and distress they have caused in their local community.

'We want to work with the police and other public services to establish a restorative justice panel in Northampton' said Lib Dem Council Leader Tony Woods. 'By confronting the offender with the victim, restorative justice makes a young offender face up to what they have done. Early intervention using restorative justice has been shown to be both cheaper and more effective than dragging a young offender through the criminal justice system. It would give the police and the council another important tool to tackle anti-social behaviour in Northampton. '

Restorative justice is one of the key proposals in a new Lib Dem policy statement 'A Life Away from Crime'. Lib Dem candidate for Northampton North, Cllr Andrew Simpson said. 'It's great to see a Lib Dem council taking the initiative in putting our positive ideas on tackling crime into practice. Other ideas proposed by Lib Dem shadow Home Secretary Chris Huhne include a youth volunteer force, PCSO's dedicated to youth work, 10,000 more police instead of ID cards, and community justice panels.'

'Lib Dem ideas in Northampton, such as neighbourhood wardens, have already seen a sharp drop in anti-social behaviour, and the council is working closely with the police to deliver improved policing in local communities. It's not good enough just to talk tough on crime and anti social behaviour, we have to work with local communities to nip crime in the bud.'