Source: (2008) Report of the fifth conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, Building restorative justice in Europe: cooperation between the public, policy makers, practitioners and researchers, Verona.

Public safety, social justice and youth issues are all linked to current debates on restorative justice. Addressing the issues posed by these groups brings new challenges for Police and the wider communities they serve. The challenge is in developing a clear strategy which is effective for the wide diversity of sites and situations in which police and young people interact, but also in addressing the impact of gang–, alcohol- and knife-related youth crime on local communities. In some of the more socially and economically deprived communities, fear of crime is high amongst the general population. Effectively some communities abandon their streets to youth sub-cultures due to the high incidence of street fighting. The issue then for restorative justice is not a personal but a social one. How can communities be effectively reclaimed but also how can young people be included in that process and be given the opportunity to become part of a thriving prosperous community? Drawing on a qualitative study which evaluates an enhanced policing plan in an area of social and economic deprivation, historically characterised by gang culture, this paper explores the experiences of police, youths, youth leaders, local shops and community planning partners of working and living in such an area. (excerpt)