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LISTEN: Young burglar returns to cricket club to put things right

Bolton percy cricket club

5:01am 14th July 2015
(Updated 12:29pm 15th July 2015)

A young offender who helped to burgle the pavilion at a Cricket Club in North Yorkshire has returned to work there on a number of improvements.

It's part of a Restorative Justice scheme.which provides the opportunity for those directly affected by an offence – victim, offender and members of the community – to communicate and agree how the offence and its consequences should be dealt with, as well as allowing the victim to meet with the offender and explain the real impact of their crime.

Restorative processes typically result in the offender making practical amends (reparation) to repair the harm – this may include an apology, or the offender might do unpaid work, either directly for the victim, or on their behalf, to benefit the wider community. Communication between victim and offender can help victims put the offence behind them and be more satisfied with the outcome.

Last year, the recently refurbished pavilion at Bolton Percy Cricket Club was burgled. The burglars smashed windows, stole alcohol and drove a vehicle over the outfield, damaging a marquee. This was a crime that affected not only club members but also the local community, who had raised funds for the refurbishment.

LISTEN Club Secretary Bill Preacher on 104.7 Minster FM


Club Secretary Bill Preacher – with the club’s backing – allowed one of the offenders to work at the club on a number of improvements to the facilities. The work included levelling the outfield, helping create a new pitch for under 9 and under 11 cricket, filling in a trench for an electrical cable and painting the score box. The club were extremely pleased with the work done by the young man and his attitude during the project.The offender, who can't be named because the law protects his identity, is now considering a career in landscape gardening.

Bill Preacher said: “When the crime happened, feelings were running very high and we were faced with the costs of repairs, improving security and replacing the stolen goods.

However, we are the sort of community who just roll up our sleeves up and get on with things. When I was approached about giving the young lad a chance, I didn’t know what to expect and as you might imagine, it was a little awkward at first and the lad was nervous. But as time has gone on, he has begun to smile and gets on with the tasks I give him.

He is clearly benefitting from the chance he has been given and we have had some much needed help in getting the grounds ready for the 2015 season. We wish him well for the future.”     

Lesley Ingleson, Head of the Youth Justice Service said: “This is an excellent example of how, by bringing together both the victim and offender in a face-to-face meeting, the victim is able to communicate the real impact that the offending has had. The process holds young people to account for their behaviour and enables them to make amends.”

Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “Restorative justice can be an effective way of allowing an offender to make a real contribution to the community that their actions have affected. By openly communicating their feelings on the crime, it also helps both the victim and the offender to move forward in a positive way.”

For more information on the North Yorkshire Youth Justice Service and Restorative Justice visit www.ny-yjs.org.uk


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