Dr Stephen Farry MLA stated: “We must have an underlying objective of making our criminal justice system both more efficient and effective. These new measures may not be appropriate for every offence, but provided there are the necessary safeguards they should be regarded as important tools for the criminal justice agencies, and in particular the police.
“These proposals are positive because they can provide quicker responses to low level crime and anti-social behaviour. This may avoid some of the bureaucratic processes within the criminal justice system. We have heard plenty about the police needing greater freedom to their job. The evidence also suggests, particularly for young people, that more immediate responses to offences have a much greater impact, including on the risk of further offences. Victims may also see a better response to their concerns.
“The Northern Ireland Assembly may have the opportunity to move this matter forward after the devolution of policing and justice. Alliance has stressed the importance of parties finding as much agreement as possible on policy matters ahead of devolution.
“Devolution cannot be a one day wonder. There has to be an ongoing process of building confidence. Delivering changes such as these will help to do just that.”