Alain Tolhurst , Reporter
Monday, June 18, 2012
A criminal will have to wash police cars as a punishment for being caught letting the tyres down on an officer’s vehicle in Ottery.
The 17-year-old boy agreed to a Restorative Justice measure after admitting causing criminal damage to a police van parked on the Land of Canaan.
Ottery PC Phil Thomas said after complaints of anti-social behaviour on Sunday, May 27 in the town, police arrived around midday to investigate.
The constable said: “The offender secreted himself out of view from officers and began letting down the tyres on a response vehicle at the Land of Canaan car park.
“The tyre was checked at 39psi that morning, and once the youth was found tampering it was down to 22psi.”
PC Thomas said the male from Exmouth was subsequently arrested for tampering with a vehicle, but whilst in custody it was deemed inappropriate to charge him to court for the offence.
He said it was decided Restorative Justice (RJ) was the appropriate way forward.
This is where the offender must perform an act, such as writing a letter of apology, which is agreed to by the victim, in this instance Devon and Cornwall Police, to make up for the offence committed.
The Ottery officer said in this case the 17-year-old: “Has agreed to attend Exmouth Police Station in the future in order to clean police vehicles and check tyre pressures.”
He added: “It was foolish to tamper with the tyres on a police vehicle which may have been required to attend an emergency, at speed, at any time.
But PC Thomas said the youth was remorseful after his arrest, and realised the error of his ways.
“This was why RJ was favoured, it is a useful tool available to the police where appropriate,” he explained.
“In this case the youth accepted responsibility for his action, showed remorse and expressed a wish to make thing right.”