She was given a choice of cash compensation for her injury or a caution for her attacker.

Insp Tyner said: “I am unable to comment on the individual case, except to say that I am dismayed that, despite the fact that we have investigated a crime and tracked down the culprit, the victim feels that we have let her down.

“This is being looked in to and my colleague is in conversation with Mrs Clayton, but in the meantime, this tells me we need to focus further on victim care and ensure our decision-making is robust and transparent.”

Below, Insp Tyner provides an explanation of why police use alternatives to court, and some facts on their use in South Holland.

...“According to Government statistics 47 per cent of those who go to prison re-offend within 12 months of release; 34 per cent of people who receive a community order from a court re-offend within 12 months of conviction. The lowest re-offending rate is for of those who receive an adult caution: only 25 per cent re-offend.”

...“When crimes or incidents are reported to us, officers will now consider whether a restorative resolution is an appropriate way to deal with the offender.

“RJ provides an opportunity to give victims the power to influence what happens to those responsible for crimes that affect them. Usually the victim will help design the course of punishment in order to resolve the offender’s wrongdoing.

“The scheme is deliberately streamlined; officers no longer spend lengthy periods completing extended reports and files resulting in minor punishments. In these times of public spending cuts, we must work more cost-effectively without reducing the service provided.

“Research shows that the average time taken to deal with an offence where a person is arrested is nine hours 15 minutes. Only one hour is spent with the victim (12 per cent of time). The average time taken to deal with an offence by means of Restorative Justice is three hours. Two hours involves the victim (66 per cent of time). This shows that RJ is much more victim focused and gives the victim a voice. It is the only criminal justice outcome that has been consistently shown to reduce re-offending.

Read the full article.,