PCC Supports International Restorative Justice Week in Cumbria
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is highlighting International Restorative Justice Week 19th – 25th November 2018 to raise awareness of Restorative Justice and how it can support victims of crime and anti-social behaviour, and their families.
Restorative Justice gives the victims the chance to meet with or write to the person who committed the crime so they can explain the impact it has had upon them. They are able to ask questions and gain answers from the person who committed the crime that they otherwise might never have had the opportunity to do.
Peter McCall comments: “Victims are often left with so many questions with no one to answer them and Restorative Justice helps them understand more and think differently about the crime and the harm that the perpetrator has caused.
“Through Restorative Justice, the perpetrators learn about the impact their crime has had on someone and it helps them to understand the guilt of what they have done wrong.
“Perpetrators often fool themselves into thinking that they are not causing anyone real harm. Often seeing their victims face to face, looking them in the eye and talking to them, helps them to understand the effect their behaviour has had. It can be an incredibly powerful situation.
“It is not a soft option, it is not appropriate for all cases and is only used when both parties agree, but it can be very positive and indeed it can be very challenging for perpetrators to face up to their crime.”
Dave Bates, Manager of Remedi, an organisation which works with victims in Cumbria to facilitate Restorative Justice said: “We work with all victims of crime and offer them the chance to talk about the offence, how it has made them feel and how the crime has effected them emotionally.
“Our work very much centres on working WITH people to enable them to be the people they can and want to be.
“By offering Restorative Justice those that have been affected by crime will feel that they have a voice in the criminal justice system process and as a result, feel that they have been empowered to take control of the situation.”
Chief Inspector Ben Swinson comments: “Restorative justice has proved to be an effective practice that can help meet the needs of many victims, enabling them to move forward with their lives.
“Offenders can often feel their crimes are victimless, and this process can help to show them the true gravity of their actions. Victims can ask questions, hear the offender’s motives and hold the offender to account for the impact the crime has had on them.”
If you have been a victim of crime and would like a confidential discussion and more information about Remedi’s Restorative Justice call 07949 986704 @RemediR
Remedi (Restorative Services) is a registered charity formed in Sheffield in 1996 and now operational across the whole of Cumbria providing restorative justice- communication between the victims of crime and their offender to assist in their ability to cope and recover.
Remedi operates in partnership within Cumbria with other organisations across the criminal justice arena and across all offence types.
All discussions are free, confidential and with a trained practitioner who can support them in deciding if Restorative Justice is something they wish to explore.
The Practitioner will work closely with the victim to support and empower them towards getting answers to questions relating to the offence that only the offender is able to answer. The same practitioner would also work with Remedi’s partner organisations and the offender to achieve this in a safe and controlled way.