What is a Reparation Order?
The reparation order was created by the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act as a way of dealing with young people between the ages 10 and 17 who have been convicted of a criminal offence. A reparation order is a court order which requires the young person who committed the offence to complete agreed activities carried out to the benefit of the victim, or the community at large, for up to a period of 24 hours. The reparation order can be used on its own or combined with other orders. The offender may be asked to write a letter of apology or complete a community based project such as litter picking, gardening or painting playground equipment.
The aims of the Order are:
To prevent re-offending by making the young person aware of the impact of crime upon their victims, the community, their family and the young person themselves.
To give the young person the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and to make amends to the individual and/or community to which they have committed offences against.
What happens when a Reparation Order is imposed?
A meeting will be arranged for the young person and family to attend the Youth Offending Team in the Law Courts, Glebeland Place, Merthyr Tydfil, when the planning will begin for the order.
During the period of the Order, the young person will have to do all or some of the following:
- The Reparation may involve the offender meeting his / her victim in person to make a verbal apology. This is known as Mediation.
- The Reparation may involve the offender writing a letter of apology and / or taking part in several hours of practical activity, which benefit the victims of crime.
- Where a victim does not want Direct Reparation then reparation may be made to the community at large. This is known as Indirect Reparation. This may involve some activity, programme of activities and / or work carried out for the benefit of the community.
- There will also be some offence and victim focused work to ensure that the young person understands the purpose of the Order.
- A Responsible Officer will be appointed from the Youth Offending Team to supervise/co-ordinate the programme of work.
What happens if the Young Person fails to comply with the Order?
If the young person fails to attend and participate without reasonable excuse, on the first occasion a warning letter will be sent. On the second occasion, the Youth Offending Team Officer is obliged to start Breach Proceedings. This will mean a return to Court, where the Young Person can be re-sentenced for the original offence.
What is expected of parents / family / carers?
Parents & Guardians are expected to assist the young person in the following ways:
- Ensure that the young person attends all appointments and inform the Youth Offending Team if they are unable to attend.
- To work with the Youth Offending Team Officer in supervising the young person in the community.
- To engage in family work in relation to the young person’s offending behaviour.
- To attend meetings and review as required.