Your PCC is committed to ensuring victims’ needs remain at the heart of policing and criminal justice, and with that commitment comes an understanding that ‘justice’ means different things to different people, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not suit everyone.
For some victims of crime, having the opportunity to challenge behaviour and repair harm is as important as seeing blame assigned and punishment dispensed.
Restorative Justice (RJ) aims to put victims’ needs first, giving them the option to meet with the offender, discuss what happened and explain the impact the incident has had on them.
The process puts victims back in control, helping them cope with and recover from what has happened to them. It also holds offenders to account for what they have done. Bringing them into contact with the victims of their crimes and showing them the real impact of their actions has been shown by Ministry of Justice figures to reduce the likelihood of offenders committing more crime.
Such is the success of restorative justice, both in terms of victim satisfaction with the outcome and reduction in reoffending, that the Victims’ Code now states all victims of crime should have access to RJ in appropriate cases.
Norfolk and Suffolk Restorative Justice Service
The use of restorative approaches is not limited to policing, and your PCC is working with partners across the county and beyond to build capacity and capability to deliver victim-focused restorative justice. One outcome of this is the launch of a Restorative Justice Service across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Commissioned by the PCCs from both counties, the service delivered by Victim Support uses trained volunteers to undertake safe RJ activity with victims and offenders, working alongside other partners in the criminal justice and restorative justice fields. It makes restorative justice more accessible for victims of crime as it does not rely on police time alone and offers the added benefit of specialist support for more complex cases.
If anyone has been a victim of crime, or has been harmed as the result of a crime or other incident, and feel they could benefit from restorative justice, they can contact the service to discuss their case and the help they could receive.
Restorative Justice is one part of a wider approach to giving victims of crime in Norfolk a greater say in how people who commit crime or anti-social behaviour (ASB) are dealt with. This approach is known as ‘Community Remedy.’
More about Community Remedy:
41 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were elected across England and Wales on the 15 November 2012. When the elected PCCs took office on the 22 November 2012 they became responsible for a combined budget of £8 billion.
PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area. Their role is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account, effectively making them answerable to the communities they serve.