Child vandals apologise and clean up park to make up for actions

Little Acorns nursery, Skirbeck, where the garden was vandalised. Nursery manager Amy Delaney is pictured replanting some of the plants after they were dug up and planted upside down.

Little Acorns nursery, Skirbeck, where the garden was vandalised. Nursery manager Amy Delaney is pictured replanting some of the plants after they were dug up and planted upside down.

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Three children who were responsible for ‘heartbreaking’ vandalism at a nursery have written letters to apologise and helped at a park clean up.

Last week we revealed how the Little Acorns Nursery had suffered from having rude graffiti being daubed at its Skirbeck Road site – as well as damage to its gardens including vandals ripping out plants and returning them to the soil upside down.

Rubbish was also used to make dens at the site.

Pcsos Alan Horry and Jaki Smith discovered that the culprits were three youngsters, two aged just 10 and a 12-year-old.

They have been dealth with through ‘restorative justice’ – a scheme which sees people asked to ‘put right’ their crimes and say sorry.

The trio wrote letters to apologise and, along with their parents, took part in a clean-up of the park opposite the nursery.

Pc Martin Chambers said: “Because of the ages and the fact that none of them have been involved in any form of trouble before then, with the agreement of the staff, we dealt with them through restorative justice.”

The scheme is also being used with adults in a bid to stop people repeatedly blighting the town with crime and anti-social behaviour .

He added: “I think it was an ideal one for this sort of incident – particularly taking into account the ages. We are finding that the restorative justice scheme does have a place when trying to prevent crime.

“You can make one mistake and be criminalised for the rest of your life. Restorative justice helps in that case.”

He added that victims play a big part in the scheme and are given the chance to agree a suitable ‘punishment’ that makes up for the offence.