Arsonists punished

By Connie Osborne Thursday 22 May 2014 Updated: 23/05 14:14

A PAIR of arsonists have been forced to clean a garage door as punishment for setting fire to it.

The two youths, aged 13 and 14, lit pieces of paper and caused £10 worth of damage to the garage in Other Road last Tuesday afternoon (May 13).

Officers from West Mercia Police quickly identified the duo and ordered them to clean the door as part of a restorative justice scheme.

They were also ordered to attend an arson intervention course with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service where community safety advisors will work with the youths to understand why they did it as well as showing them the consequences of starting fires.

Restorative justice - also known as community resolution - encourages people who have committed less serious offences to take responsibility for their actions by apologising or carrying out unpaid work, instead of being punished through the courts.

A spokeswoman from West Mercia Police said it often gave offenders to the chance to make amends for the crime they had committed.

She added it had been proved to be more effective than court punishment because it can prevent young or first time offenders from slipping into a cycle of crime, while it costs less than taking a case to court.

Shaun D’Oliveira, watch commander for HWFRS, added: "The main outcome of the scheme is to assist the fire setter in considering the consequences of fire play and the outcome of deliberately setting fires, this in turn reduces the impact of their actions to the local community and the disruption that it causes to residents and businesses.

"The scheme has been very successful with no further incidents reported for individuals who have taken part in our programmes."

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