A Workplace Assault: Restorative Justice Case Study

Nick worked at a clothing shop. When he noticed Glenn, a customer, shoplifting, Nick stepped in to challenge him. The police were called after Glenn punched Nick in the side of the head.

Nick was very upset. His fight or flight response kicked in because he was so shocked to have been punched, especially at work. He described himself as ‘not a fighter’ - the experience was very alien to him.

Since the incident, Nick was scared. He experienced low mood, fear, and anxiety. He was worried that a similar incident was going to happen and he was worried he might see someone in a blue tracksuit (the outfit Glenn was wearing when he attacked Nick). Nick’s other fear was that if he saw Glenn or if a similar situation unfolded, he himself might do something ‘stupid’.

However, when he opened up to his friends about his worries, they tried to persuade him that getting punched wasn’t a big deal and that he should just get over it. He gave up his job because of his anxiety, which means that he has had to endure financial hardship.

When Glenn agreed to take part in Restorative Justice, Nick initially wanted to communicate with Glenn indirectly. Beforehand, we captured the things that Nick might communicate to Glenn. We agreed to email the notes of what he might say to Glenn and asked Nick to confirm he wanted to progress with the indirect process.

On reflection, Nick decided not to progress with an indirect Restorative Justice process. He felt that the restorative conversation was all he needed to move forward.

Of his Restorative Justice experience, Nick said: “As for moving forward, I have sat with this for the past few months and I've decided to not take this any further. I was thinking about this a lot and I couldn't make my mind up. But this hasn't been a waste of time for me. Being able to talk to you about this and be heard with no judgment was really therapeutic for me.

“My friends and family weren't as understanding about my emotions and it felt like my trauma was dismissed. It truly felt like closing the book on this event and I've felt better about it ever since. Thank you so much for that. You people really do make a difference and I'm sure there are others who will benefit greatly from this.”

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What people say about Restorative Solutions

I'm so glad I am working with Restorative Justice. I don't know who would listen to me if it wasn’t for you.
A Person Harmed by Crime
Restorative Justice 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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