Mr Polin said officers would exercise "personal discretion" when dealing with offences suitable for the treatment.

He said that in the past officers felt obliged to offer fixed penalties when another approach might have been better in deterring further offences.

"We need to build on some of the work we have done around restorative justice," he said.

"We will be seeking to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour in terms of penalty by not just arresting people but seeking the most appropriate method to provide the incentive to the offender to stop their offending," he added.

Mr Polin said he would be providing his officers with "greater discretion" about how to deal with minor crime and incidents, including anti-social behaviour.

"That means that they can properly consider the wishes of the victims and the communities - and they can consider how to resolve a particular incident with regard to those wishes," he added.