The scheme ensures that anyone, aged between ten and 18, caught causing trouble or breaking the law will be given the chance to apologise, explain their behaviour to the victim as well as carrying out some restorative work.

....“The crimes are still recorded by the police, so if we come across them again we will know they have been through the restorative justice initiative and they then be put into the criminal justice system and will have a criminal record.”

The force has already used the initiative on a number of occasions for crimes ranging from shoplifting to anti social behaviour.

Among the reparation work carried out by the young people, who have to agree to take part as well as the victim of the crime, was one teenager who wrote a letter of apology to a shopkeeper for stealing pastries and drinks.

The 13-year-old, who wants to join the armed forces, had to carry out tasks in the store as well as provide the rank structure of the forces including the government department and current minister.

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