Common sense powers would make a difference to victims

CRIMINALS in 1066 Country could be forced to make amends for low-level crimes on the spot rather than being dragged through the courts under new guidelines.

Sussex Police is training officers in what it calls community resolution – where victims will have a say in how troublemakers should be dealt with.

It will only be used for low-level crimes such as anti-social behaviour, shoplifting and vandalism where the offender does not have a big criminal record.

Feedback among officers has been positive with many keen to use their common sense rather than take offenders through a long and expensive court procedure.

It also means victims can see instant results rather than waiting weeks for cases to be resolved formally.

Nick Wilkinson, assistant chief constable of Sussex Police, said: “This is an exciting development and offers a real opportunity to make a difference to the lives of people who have been victims of crime or anti-social behaviour.”

Meanwhile, Sussex Police has approved more than 300 staff for voluntary redundancy.

The force needs to save £52 million over the next five years and had announced it would mean the loss of 500 officers and about 550 office workers.

But after 307 behind-the-scenes staff accepted voluntary severance, the number of compulsory job losses will be fewer than feared.

Details of the frontline officer job cuts are yet to emerge, but the force hopes to make some savings by not filling posts that are currently empty.