How to Write a Letter of Gratitude to Police
In Victoria, the only way to avoid a criminal record for offending is to be offered a Diversion Notice by Victoria Police and then be judged suitable for a Diversion Plan by a Magistrate.
Once you have passed these two hurdles, you will be placed on a Diversion Plan for a period of up to 12 months. Every Diversion Plan is different; however one common order of the court is that you provide a letter of gratitude to the member/s of Victoria Police who offered you a Diversion Notice. The Magistrate will usually order you to prepare the letter and provide it to staff at the court house. The court staff then forward your letter to the police officers involved. It is mandatory that you provide the letter of gratitude before the conclusion of your Diversion Plan.
Sometimes drafting a letter of gratitude can be difficult. The most important thing to keep in mind while you are drafting the letter is that members of the police force see letters of gratitude quite frequently in their line of work. It is crucial you are honest in your letter and openly discuss your remorse for the offending, as well as what you have learned throughout the court process.
It may be tempting to simply Google a template for a letter of gratitude however the police officer receiving the letter will know whether or not the letter is written in your own words or copied from a template online.
There are a number of points you might consider making in your letter of gratitude, including the following:
- Apologising for the offending;
- Explaining what you have learned through the court process;
- Outline the detriment you would have suffered had you not been offered Diversion;
- Thanking the officer for their recommendation for the Diversion Plan; and
- Outlining why the officer can be confident you will not reoffend.
Remember – the most important thing is that the letter is written in your own words.