Chief Inspector Dave Gilbert, Bracknell commander, said the number of people committing a crime after receiving either an Adult Restorative Disposal (ARD) or a Youth Restorative Disposal (YRD) was “encouraging”.

He added: “It’s the lowest level caution we can give. There can be conditions in it, but that’s the next step up really. They are used for lower level offences, it’s about giving someone a chance.

“They are often used for low value criminal damage or a low level assault such as a push or an argument. Usually it’s something the victim will agree to as they have to be consulted.”

The disposals give specially trained police officers and Police Community Support Officers discretion to hold to account people committing minor offences.

Both the victim and the offender must agree to participate and, using restorative justice, a person has to face up to their offence and offer an apology. In some cases an offender could also be asked to pay for criminal damage or “make good” the offence.

During the four year period, 632 adults received an ARD, of which 22 per cent went on to commit another crime.

There were 489 10- to 17-year-olds who received a YRD in the same period, with 24 per cent reoffending.

The figures only count each person once; the same person maybe given a restorative disposal for a number of offences at the same time, and include any offender who has committed another crime in a different policing area.

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