The power of Restorative Justice to help repair and reform in the aftermath of a crime is being highlighted by Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
It comes as the county’s commissioned service provider announces a refreshed new look during Restorative Justice Week (19-25 November). Funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner and delivered by respected charity Victim Support, Restorative Justice Warwickshire is a free service that brings together those that have been harmed by a crime and those that have caused the harm.
It allows them to communicate in a safe and suitable way, for example at a mediated face-to-face meeting or via a letter exchange. It gives those that have been harmed the opportunity to ask questions they do not feel have been answered, while those that have caused the harm have the opportunity to hear the impact of their actions and take responsibility.
Restorative Justice is a well-established process enshrined in the Victim’s Code, with everyone who has suffered a crime being entitled to be given information about the process and the opportunity to take part, if it is safe and suitable to do so.
To expand the provision in Warwickshire, earlier this year Mr Seccombe awarded a three-year contract to the charity Victim Support to deliver the new Restorative Justice Warwickshire service.
He explains: “It’s important that there are a range of ways available to help victims cope and recover from the effects of crime and Restorative Justice is one process that is proven to have a positive impact. It brings offenders and victims together, allowing victims to ask questions and discuss the impact of the crime, while offenders gain an understanding of the harm that’s been caused and can offer an apology. This greater insight into the harm caused helps to decrease the likelihood that they will re-offend.
“By expanding the provision I’m keen to see more people helped through Restorative Justice. Reducing the harmful impact of crime is something that has been a central part of my Police and Crime Plan for the county and this process is one of a variety of initiatives to help deliver that.”
Jenni Hawkins and Mike Bailey from Restorative Justice Warwickshire added: “Anyone who has been a victim of crime in Warwickshire, whether recently or in the past, can ask for a restorative justice process. That can come via a referral by the police, Victim Support or any of the other agencies involved in the criminal justice process, while people can also self-refer to us. Once a referral is made, we will meet with you to introduce ourselves and talk you through what restorative justice is all about.
“The benefits of Restorative Justice are really positive for all parties who do go through it and have been proven the reduce reoffending and also reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress. However, it is important to remember that Restorative Justice is completely voluntary and we will always complete a multi-agency risk assessment to ensure there will be no further harm to anyone involved.”
If you feel that Restorative Justice Warwickshire may be able to support you please contact email@example.com / 07940476703 or firstname.lastname@example.org / 07719567571 for more information.