‘Moonie’ boy made to apologise as part of new police scheme

A TEENAGE boy, who flashed his behind at a passer-by, has been made to apologise to his victim as part of a new Community Resolution scheme.

The 16-year-old dropped his trousers and ‘mooned’ a woman in the park next to Etchingham Railway Station at the beginning of February.

The woman, aged in her 40s, reported the incident to police and identified the boy involved.

Because it was only considered to be a minor offence, and because the youth had never been in trouble with the police before, officers felt the offence would be suitable for Community Resolution.

Community Resolution allows people to acknowledge their wrongdoing when it happens, try to repair the harm and move on with their lives.

Sgt Dan Russell, of Battle police, said: “Last Wednesday at Battle Police Station, a victim of anti-social behaviour came face to face with the youth who had been responsible for causing it.

“The victim told the youth how he had made her feel and the significant impact it had on both her and the community.

“The youth was shocked to realise the effect of what he initially thought was only a schoolboy prank. He was clearly upset.

“He apologised to the victim. They then shook hands.

“The victim felt very positive about the meeting and was grateful for the opportunity to speak with the youth.

“The youth has also agreed to carry out litter picking in Etchingham as part of the resolution.

“I am confident that this will deter the youth from committing further problems.”

Community Resolution is currently being rolled out through Sussex Police.

The scheme allows people who make one small, stupid mistake a second chance, preventing them from getting a criminal conviction which they will have to disclose all through their careers.

The process involves the victim more than the court system would.

The Community Resolution process is also expected to save substantial money in court costs and will mean police officers spend less time filling in forms and deal with low-level offending using common sense.

It is the second time Community Resolution has been implemented in the Battle area.

Earlier in the year a 17-year-old girl, who stole an item from a shop in Battle High Street, wrote a letter of apology to the owners and carried out unpaid work elsewhere as part of her resolution.

The teenager had never been in trouble with the police before.

Sgt Russell said: “The victim is more satisfied by this than going through the court process.

“Obviously there has got to be an agreement on both sides to do this.”

For more information about Community Resolution, visit the Sussex Police website at www.sussex.police.uk/community-resolution