....Pc Hastings said: "I'm thrilled to be invited back but quite nervous as I have to try to get their officers to embrace something that is not in their psyche at all.

"They patrol some very tough streets and I know some of them will be very jumpy about being asked to embrace a concept that is not as punitive as they are used to.

"They have some serious problems with gun crime and murders, so they have a very tough attitude to dealing with offenders.

"When I was first there, judges, police chiefs and district attorneys all said they thought restorative justice would work but politically it was never going to be accepted.

"Now, the situation has changed and there is a realisation that the old approach isn't solving the problems so it's time for something new.

"What I hope they will get is the results we have had here – greater victim satisfaction and reduced offending rates.

"Restorative justice is not a soft option. It is very hard to get someone to accept responsibility for what they have done."

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