The High Sheriff’s nomination, the Reading Community Court project, has been given a Certificate of Commendation by the National Crimebeat Panel.
Reading Community Court is a youth led, restorative justice programme aimed at supporting first time offenders and their victims of crime.
Volunteers aged 14-25 hold peer-led hearings with young offenders aged 10- 17, their families and any victims of crime who wish to attend. The aim of the hearing is to establish what harm has been caused and how it can be repaired or put right. The Community Court works to enhance the police us of out-of-court disposals an is only available in suitable cases as an alternative to prosecution is the criminal courts.
Graham Barker said:
I am delighted that National Crimebeat has recognised the Reading Community Court project led by Supt. Stan Gilmour. Having attended an awards ceremony early on in the life of this project, it was clear to me that it was engaging a wide range of young people from Reading in a very positive way. It can clearly be seen as part of a range of initiatives which fall into the category of early interventions to prevent or reduce youth crime and therefore something I very much wish to support in my role as High Sheriff. The Reading Community Court is an important, youth-led project and is well managed and run by police and volunteers. Although still in its early stages, the project has already had an impact on reducing reoffending. This Certificate of Commendation gives recognition to the whole team involved – including the many volunteers – and provides encouragement for the future.