Five give back for breaking Splash Park bench
Campbell River’s new park was a splash, literally, but the busted bench was like getting doused with freezing water.
That was largely the community’s double reaction earlier this summer during to the opening of the new Rotary Splash Park and the subsequent vandalism in the new setting located at Willow Point Park.
Sometime during the night, four young adults and one youth managed to break into pieces, a $1,200 concrete picnic table.
Shortly later, after stories appeared in the media, tips came into police who were also assisted by surveillance video. All five suspects were identified and interviewed at the RCMP detachment.
The story that emerged was the broken bench was part of an “ill-fated idea” and all five were ready pay for their mischief.
But instead of heading to court, the five – who had no previous run-ins with the law – were directed to Restorative Justice.
“Restorative Justice focuses on offender accountability, problem solving and creating an equal voice for the victims as well as the offenders,” says RCMP Staff Sgt. Troy Beauregard. “The philosophy of Restorative Justice is one of community healing. The community decides what is best for itself to resolve certain criminal matters.”
In this case, the five faced representatives of Rotary, the Kinsmen, the city and the RCMP to hear how their actions affected them. In addition to paying for the damage, they also agreed to doing community service and offered letters of apology:
“We realized this is a big thing, and that we affected a lot of people in a negative way. In the end we all came forward to confess the events of that evening through a group decision and would like to take the time to apologize for our mistake…”
For more information on Restorative Justice, contact Kristine Atkinson at 250-286-5666 or refer to the RCMP website at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca