New restorative justice service launches in North Yorkshire

More victims of crime in North Yorkshire will have the opportunity to play a role in the criminal justice system in the future with the launch of a new service to help victims receive answers and rehabilitate offenders by helping them to understand the hurt and fear they have caused.

The aim is to bring victim and offender together alongside the criminal justice system, to reduce reoffending and give victims answers and the ability to move on by making the crime, and the fear it causes, more personal and harder to ignore.

The North Yorkshire Restorative Justice Service will be provided by Restorative Solutions Community Interest Company, commissioned by North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan. This new service will have the capacity to deal with more than 300 referrals a year initially, rising to 400 by March 2022. It is hoped this will allow restorative justice to be offered in even more cases. Currently, just over 200 referrals for the solution are made every year.

At today’s launch in York, Will Naylor, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, was joined by North Yorkshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Phil Cain, Kate Hook, Director of Corporate Services at Restorative Solutions, and Emma, a victim who used restorative justice to cope and recover from the impact of crime.

Emma said: “Restorative justice has changed my life. It gave me an opportunity to talk about what happened using emotional words. For two and a half years it felt like the only words I heard were facts and evidence. What about me and my family and what he had done to us? It finally felt like my emotions had a voice that was being heard and acknowledged. My life kick started the minute I walked back to my car after the conference. I felt free of so many frustrations.”  

North Yorkshire PCC Julia Mulligan said: “All too often the victim of crime can be the forgotten person in the criminal justice system, having to relive the offence and unable to work out why they’ve been targeted. Restorative justice has the ability to change that - putting victims in the driving seat, allowing them to get answers and, hopefully, recover.

“That is the ultimate aim. Providing more access to restorative justice will help victims and us all by reducing crime and the fear of crime. I look forward to seeing the service develop in the years ahead.” 

Restorative Solutions will provide the service alongside the in-house Supporting Victims Team for North Yorkshire. 

Kate Hook, Director of Corporate Services said: "Restorative Solutions are both pleased and proud to have been chosen by the PFCC to deliver the Restorative Justice Service for residents of North Yorkshire. We have a professional team in place who are already delivering services for victims of some of the most serious crimes. We have already developed close working relationships with statutory and other partners and look forward to building on these.”

If you have been the victim of crime and need help to cope and recover, you can Call Supporting Victims on 01609 643 100, or visit www.supportingvictims.org. For more information on restorative justice, or to speak to the team: call 01423 546 175 or email RJNorthYorkshire@restorativesolutions.org.uk

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What people say about Restorative Solutions

I'm so glad I am working with RJ. I don't know who would listen to me if it wasn’t for you.
A Person Harmed by Crime
RJ is very underrated and I certainly think we should be using it more.
A Professional who Referred Someone into our Service
Very satisfied – it’s been a great service. A worthwhile process for me and I hope for the offenders. Staff have been great and I would like to thank them.
A victim
It was the right thing to do. Both victims told me to let go of what happened. I didn't want to hear it but they both forgave me and said I should move on. I have taken that on and thought about it and I have come to terms with what happened. You've helped me significantly. It's as though my head has been lifted of a gigantic weight.
An Offender
Thanks for your time today. I feel like you understand R so well, I really hope you can help him to learn how to be happy.
Feedback from a family in East Kent
Restorative Justice offers a unique opportunity for victims and survivors to move on from and overcome the trauma that can be left with them after experiencing crime. I am exceedingly proud of the work that the team at Restorative Solutions do in supporting our community. We should always consider the needs of victims of crime and this service exemplifies that sentiment and allows so many to put behind them what can be the worst experience of their lives.
Marc Jones, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

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