8th March 2017
Police Officers to Provide Information to Victims on Restorative Justice
Police Officers in Rotherham have been receiving refresher training on the benefits of restorative justice throughout the district over the past couple of months.
Officers have received the training in a push to increase their understanding of restorative justice services available in the county and ensure that victims are being made aware of the service, its benefits and how they can access it.
Restorative Justice can also be utilised in non-crime incidents such as neighbour disputes, anti-social behaviour and hate incidents.
Restorative Justice is deliverable in a number of ways, including where a victim can come face to face with the person who has committed the crime against them – where both victim and offender agree to take part. This process empowers victims by giving them the chance to explain the real impact of the crime to the offender.
Dr Alan Billings the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“As part of the victims’ code, victims are entitled to receive information about Restorative Justice and how they can take part in the process.
“Restorative Justice aims to help a victim cope and recover and ask important questions of their offender, where both victim and offender agree to take part. Quite often this is the victim’s only opportunity to find out the circumstances and fit together the final pieces of a jigsaw.
“In some cases it can also have quite an impact on the offender and there is evidence that it reduces re-offending.”
Rotherham and all other districts within South Yorkshire also have access to Community Justice Panels.
“The community justice panels work closely with the harmed person and wrong-doer as well as partner agencies such as the council, housing association and police to resolve the issues through face to face meetings or contact made in letters or messages being passed through the case-worker.
“Quite often somebody causing the harm to a person doesn’t appreciate what the consequences are and how this is causing significant distress. By bringing all parties concerned together in a safe environment, it gives them opportunity to discuss the issues and come to an agreed way forward.”
The South Yorkshire ‘Restorative Justice Hub’ ensures that victims of crime (post court) have their individual cases risk assessed and where appropriate are signposted to a specialist restorative justice service provider.
Victims can also self-refer themselves to the South Yorkshire Restorative Justice Hub at any time during the criminal justice process.