On Februrary 6 there was an interesting bit of news from the Restorative Justice Council, which notes a recommendation in a recent U.K. government report that restorative justice presents a "rich avenue for improving the handling of police complaints." The report also recommends, "The Commission should set out best practice protocols for their use in appropriate cases and the use of informal or local resolution systems should be independently monitored to ensure that it is not used inappropriately in relation to conduct that would justify criminal or disciplinary proceedings."

Along these lines, I would direct readers to a speech made by Charles Pollard, then Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, UK, at IIRP's World Conference in Toronto, Canada, in August 2000. In "Restorative Justice and Police Complaints" Pollard outlined how his police department had begun to use restorative justice to deal with a variety of complaints. Three ways he said it could be used were:

  • Informal resolution as an alternative to investigation.
  • Restorative Intervention as an alternative to advice or a written warning.
  • A Restorative Intervention as part of the misconduct hearing.

The full speech can be read here.

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