“It means that crimes can be dealt with quickly and efficiently and means that young offenders who do not have a criminal record and are at a low risk of re-offending are not brought before the courts for one mistake.

“The re-offending rate for people who have received a Restorative Justice penalty is just eight per cent, which shows that many youngsters who have been part of this are not going on to a life of crime.

“The key thing about it is we can only use it if the victim agrees that it is a suitable way forward and it is clear the offender is showing remorse for their actions.

“It is not used for serious or repeat offending, which will continue to be dealt with in the same way as normal.

“It has been a challenge getting everyone used to the new system, but I think it has been a real success.”

Mr Parr said that by using Restorative Justice, more than 8,000 police hours had been saved - allowing officers to focus on other duties and saving thousands of pounds.

It is also helping boost the number of crimes that are solved, adding more than two per cent to solved crime figures.

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