Restorative justice for unruly teens

UNRULY behaviour will not be tolerated in Portishead - that is the message being made loud and clear by the town’s police team.

Troublemakers involved in petty crime and antisocial behaviour are having to suffer the consequences of their actions, as police step up action using the restorative justice scheme.

Between Christmas and New Year a series of incidents involving young people swearing at staff and intimidating customers at McDonald’s in Wyndham Way were captured on CCTV.

As a result, as part of the restorative justice scheme, three boys aged 13 and 14 attended the police station to apologise for their unacceptable behaviour and learn how they would repay those affected.

PC Jock Cameron said: “The boys attended the local police station and showed real remorse for their actions.”

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The teenagers wrote a letter of apology which they delivered to the manager of McDonald’s and agreed to carry out litter picking in the car park of the fast food restaurant.

“Restorative justice ensures we can resolve low level crimes without giving those involved a criminal record, but this is by no means an easy option,” added PC Cameron.

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“On this occasion the boys learned a valuable lesson and there was a positive outcome for everyone involved.”

In the past few months other incidents in Portishead involving the restorative justice scheme include nine young people meeting with the victim of garden vandalism, apologising for their actions and agreeing to litter pick at the Lake Grounds.

Youths who had stolen from a shop returned the goods and spent time tidying the store and other young people painted over damage they had caused.

Restorative justice encourages offenders to see the errors of their ways and make positive life choices for their future.

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