As its ASB (Anti-Social Behaviour) Awareness Week, we thought we would shine a light on a case last year that resulted in a positive outcome for all involved.
In October 2021, a group of young people caused considerable damage to one of our communal hallways.
We were contacted by the Victim Liaison Officer at Cwm Taf Youth Offending Service (YOS) and were given the opportunity to be involved in a Restorative Approaches process.
Restorative Approaches empowers victims by giving them a chance to meet or communicate with their offender to explain the real impact of their crime. It also holds offenders to account for what they have done and helps them to take responsibility and make amends.
The individuals who damaged the property on one of Newydd’s estates worked with the Youth Offending Service (YOS) to increase their understanding of the consequences of such a crime and develop empathy towards the victims. As a result, they took full responsibility for their actions and decided to write letters of apology to residents that were affected by their anti-social behaviour.
Work in the community
As well as writing letters of apology they also volunteered within the local community to demonstrate the valuable contribution they can make to society. They worked hard, and with the support of staff from the YOS, they built wooden planters which were subsequently delivered to the communal garden of the affected flats.
Robert Kidd, Housing Team Leader at Newydd said, “It is great to see that by being involved in the Restorative Approaches process, the young people involved now understand the impact of anti-social behaviour on victims and the local community. I would like to thank them for taking the time to write personal letters of apology to those living in the area and for building planters for the residents to enjoy. I would also like to thank Cwm Taf YOS for all their work in facilitating such a positive outcome.”
Letters of apology
These are some of the letters of apology that the young people wrote to the residents who live in the area:
“I’m writing you this letter to say sorry for the damage I’ve caused to the walls in one of your flats. I know this wasn’t ok because I know how much money all the damages all of us did cost, and it’s not my property to damage. To make up for this, I am now working with YOS for 3 months and have done reparation to give back to the community. I feel guilty for what has happened and hope you can forgive me. I definitely will not do this again, I’ve learned that doing things like this have consequences, I just want to say sorry again.”
“I apologise for damaging your property with my mates. I was showing off in front of my friends and did not realise that my actions would result in this. I won’t do it again, and through working with YOS I have realised that my actions were out of order. I am now focusing on schoolwork and becoming a better person.”
“I have recently been working with the youth offenders’ team and built a box to grow flowers in, and I am very sorry for the damage caused. I was with friend and found it hard to say no when they said to hit the wall. I just want to say I’m sorry and it won’t happen again.”
About Cwm Taf Youth Offending Services
Cwm Taf YOS offer Restorative Approaches that seek to work in partnership with victims of crime committed by young people, to help them feel empowered and to be able to express their feelings about what has happened and their wishes in terms of reparation. This approach seeks to develop young people’s understanding of the impact their actions and identify ways they can move forward, building on their strengths and encouraging them to desist from further offending.