PRESS RELEASE: Delivery partner appointed to help develop Restorative Justice in Cambridgeshire

Delivery partner appointed to help develop Restorative Justice in Cambridgeshire

VICTIMS of crime in Cambridgeshire can now request to meet their offender in a restorative justice conference thanks to Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Such conferences have been proven to help repair the harm caused by the crime by allowing the victim to explain to the offender the impact of their actions. It also enables the victim to understand why the offender behaved the way they did.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright and Cambridgeshire Constabulary have pledged to work in partnership with other agencies to develop restorative justice in the county.

The move has seen Sir Graham appoint a not for profit Community Interest Company Restorative Solutions as a delivery partner to provide advice and expertise in the early days.

The Ministry of Justice has provided all PCCs with an initial two years’ funding, as part of the Victims’ Services Grant, to facilitate victim-initiated restorative justice.

Sir Graham said: “It is great to be able to yet again improve the experience for victims of crime in Cambridgeshire. This work follows hot on the heels of the launch of our police-led Victims’ Hub and we expect the Victim Care Co-ordinators will be instrumental in explaining to victims what is now available.

“While I have asked the Constabulary to lead this work for me, they can’t do this alone and we have already been having conversations with existing restorative justice providers in the county about how we can work together. I was also keen to ensure we had access to real experts in this area which is why I appointed Restorative Solutions to support the Cambridgeshire approach.”

Deputy Chief Constable Alec Wood has championed the use of restorative justice in the Constabulary and says it could make a “real difference” to the lives of those who choose to get involved. “The evidence is clear that victims of crime who take part in restorative conferences are more likely to be able to move on from the crime committed against them. Offenders are less likely to offend again – so it’s a win-win situation.”

Chief Executive of Restorative Solutions, Gary Stephenson, said: “Our joint approach will ensure that victims will be given the opportunity to have their say and get answers to the questions they are left with after being the victim of a crime. We know that Restorative Justice helps victims and others affected by the crime to find closure and move on with their lives. We also know from rigorous academic studies that following a restorative meeting offenders are motivated to change their lives for the better and this means less crime and fewer victims in Cambridgeshire.”

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a process which “brings those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward”.

The process is carefully managed at all stages by trained facilitators.

Sir Graham will be launching ‘Developing Restorative Justice in Cambridgeshire’ at a conference being held on Monday February 9 – 13.30-17.00.

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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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