Restorative Solutions wins contract with West Yorkshire's PCC

West Yorkshire's PCC, Mark Burns- Williamson has confirmed continuing funding for two major services in West Yorkshire to ensure victims and witnesses of crime can continue to access appropriate support. The charity Victim Support has been awarded £3.6million to continue to provide core support to victims and witnesses, including those aged 18 and under for the first time, when their contract renews on March 26, for the next three years. The second three year contract, for restorative justice services, worth £900,000, has been awarded to not for profit community interest company Restorative Solutions, who will support victims to engage directly with offenders wherever appropriate to try and achieve closure and prevent reoffending, from April 3.    

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “I am very pleased to have been able to put in place these new and improved services for victims and witnesses. These are further important steps along the way to a new deal for all victims, making a reality of the Victims Code which has been in place for a while. “Many people affected by crime often feel unable to get the help they need, whether or not they wish to report it to the police, so these new services and contracts will ensure that wider support and ensure more options are available. Since some of the funding was delegated to me by the Ministry of Justice in 2015, I have been working hard to improve the situation with our valued partners in West Yorkshire to ensure we are doing all we can collectively to make people feel supported and safe.”    

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle, of West Yorkshire Police, added: “Being a victim of crime can be an extremely distressing and traumatic time and it is very important they receive the care and support they need from the point of report, throughout the judicial process and beyond if required.”    

Restorative justice provides victims with the opportunity, if they so wish, to engage directly with offenders if they have been identified. While not an alternative to the criminal justice system, there is strong evidence that for some victims it can help them cope with and recover from the impact of crime more effectively than traditional approaches.  It is based on the victims’ wishes, from indirect to direct contact, including the possibility of a meeting with the offender.      

Restorative Justice Chief Executive, Gary Stephenson, said: “Restorative Solutions are excited at the opportunity to be working across West Yorkshire in order to deliver safe and effective Restorative Justice for victims of crime, who will be provided with the opportunity to seek the answers from those who have caused them such harm and distress.  “We will be working with a large number of partners across West Yorkshire, including Victim Support, and plan to have the service in place by early April.” 

 For more information on Restorative Justice services in West Yorkshire, please contact our West Yorkshire RJ Service Delivery Manager Kate Brooksbank at katebrooksbank@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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