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Last Updated: Monday November 17 2008 12:51 GMT

Boy talks about new police punishment

Maddy talking to Harry

Kids who break the law don't usually meet the people most affected by their crimes - but that's all beginning to change.

In some parts of the UK, a new system called restorative justice is being used instead of giving kids a criminal record.

One 12-year-old boy from Dorset told Newsround what it was like coming face-to-face with the people who'd been affected by what he'd done...


"It all started off when I was camping with three friends and we were really bored, and there was nothing to do.

Stupidly, we were just messing around, trying to throw stones over the train, and it hit the window.

A graphic of the smashed window
It shattered the whole glass.

I felt really guilty, and I wanted to go to the train station and see what's happened to it.

That day I felt really horrible, and the next day I went to the train station to say how sorry I was, and how stupid I was for what I did."

Harry - not his real name - could have ended up with a criminal record, but instead the police arranged a meeting between him and some of the people who worked on the railway.

"We were all in a little meeting together talking about what we did, and what happened to the people inside the train.

In the meeting was the person who was driving the train, and the person that owns the train station.

People in the meeting
Harry met some of the people who worked on the railway
They were just saying how bad it was, and how much it affected the train and how much it cost.

I was really upset and distraught and was really guilty for what I did.

It was horrible, because I didn't want them to think I was a really bad person.

I've never done anything like that before.

I'm never going to do it again. After all that's happened, I'm never going to do that again."