Neighbourhood policing aims to provide the public with a highly visible uniform presence in every neighbourhood, able to deal with local issues and priorities. Very often these issues involve residents who, for various reasons, have come into conflict with others in their community. Adopting a restorative approach provides officers with a means to resolve such neighbourhood disputes. By doing so they seek to promote a shared understanding, break down barriers and allow people to live happily side by side.
In addition a restorative approach can be used as a means of finalising the investigation into a crime. Providing a crime meets certain criteria (is of a less serious nature, the victim consents and the suspect is not a repeat offender) then the Police Divisional Commander for Hull has agreed for such crime reports to be finalised with a restorative disposal as an alternative to prosecution. This allows a proportionate response to criminal activity and prevents people (principally, but not exclusively young people) receiving a criminal record for minor 1st time offences.
Working with the Hull Centre of Restorative Practices 200 police and community supports officers have received a 1 day Introduction to Restorative Practices training course. In addition 85 officers have been trained to facilitate RP conferences. Officers are now able to work restoratively with trained partners in schools, care homes, youth services and other service areas. 3 officers are qualified as RP trainers, able to train new officers and people from other organisations.