Critics argue it can let off crooks too lightly - and can be used by police to control crime figures. 

But Mr Lloyd said: “Where it works it is about the criminal having to face up to what they have done.

“There may be a community remedy or some form of payment or payback. It can’t be a soft option. It’s not for hardened criminals.” 

But he believes the system could be used in preference to a short prison sentence, though not for repeat offenders. 

Mr Lloyd added: “It has to be victim focused, so the victim is comfortable. For the right victim that may be the right approach. The courts are not victim focused. You are just there as a witness and not centre stage. 

“It’s about keeping the victim informed and making sure they feel involved in the process. We have to have some common sense. It can only be done if the public has confidence in it.” 

The duo’s top concern is anti-social behavior, Mr Lloyd said. He wants to improve liaison between the police, health services, local authorities and probation officers to tackle problems earlier and prevent other crimes. 

He argues that getting people drug and alcohol treatment earlier will help to steer them away from crime and reduce costs for all parties. 

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