Source: (2002) In Restorative Justice and its Relation to the Criminal Justice System: Papers from the second conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, Oostende, Belgium, 10-12 October. Pp. 8-14. Downloaded 23 February 2005.

Under the general topic of restorative justice and the role of the police, Sir Charles Pollard focuses in this paper on restorative justice, problem-solving, and community policing. As Pollard notes, the role and function of the police in many countries fit within a similar framework: bring to justice those who break the law by arresting, detaining, or summoning them; and work with prosecutors to bring offenders before a court of law. He cites the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the United States as, at one time, an exemplar of this approach: fast, forceful reaction to law-breaking. However, as became clear in the 1992 riots following the Rodney King incident, the LAPD was out of touch with the city’s communities. Pollard contrasts this with a more restorative justice, problem-solving approach to policing: preventive, proactive, community-rooted, and community-oriented. To illustrate this approach, he highlights the work of the Thames Valley Police in England, particularly its Milton Keynes Retail Theft Initiative.