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Putting victims first: new restorative justice service to launch in Nottinghamshire

A new service bringing victims face-to-face with the perpetrators of crime to support their emotional recovery will officially launch next week.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping will officially unveil the county’s new Restorative Justice Service on Wednesday (7 October).

Restorative justice is a modern approach to crime resolution which enables victims to have greater involvement in the justice process, making decisions on what happens to an offender and receiving closure on the case to help them cope and recover from their experiences.

Victims are offered face-to-face meetings with an offender to enable them to get answers to their questions which helps to promote recovery. It is also designed to help offenders take responsibility for their actions and to face up the consequences by understanding the impact their offending has had on a victim.

Should the victim feel that they did not want to meet the offender face to face but need answers about the offence, Remedi offers the opportunity for shuttle mediation where qualified practitioners will contact the offender with the questions from the victim and get these answered on behalf of the victim.   

Earlier this year Commissioner Tipping, who is a keen exponent of this type of reparation, awarded the contract for delivering Restorative Justice Services in Nottinghamshire to justice experts Remedi. The organisation has already received 90 referrals to the scheme to date – seven of which have resulted in face-to-face conferences between victims and offenders.

During next week’s launch, which will involve a relaxed round-the-table discussion, two victims will talk about the devastating impact of losing loved ones to crime and how RJ helped them to cope and eventually recover from their ordeal. In one case, the offender involved has written a letter about the RJ journey from his point of view which will be presented during the launch.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Commissioner Tipping said: “Victims of crime in Nottinghamshire will now be routinely offered restorative justice to help them rebuild their lives in the aftermath of crime. Research shows that interaction between victims and offenders can greatly aid the healing process and reverse long-term offending patterns.

“Restorative justice will play a huge part in our approach to victim care in the future and I’m confident that this type of support, along with the delivery of more traditional counselling and help services, we will greatly improve our response to victims of crime in Nottinghamshire.”

Remedi supports victims and offenders across all crime categories from antisocial behaviour and police cautions up to murder, manslaughter and rape cases.

RJ is a voluntary service for both parties and robust risk assessments must be undertaken involving everyone taking part in face-to-face conferences. The timescale varies depending on the circumstances and can range from a few days after a crime up to 18 months.

Around 99% of victims who have been supported by Remedi in the past have been extremely satisfied with the experience, saying the process had answered their questions, reduced their fear of crime, increased their confidence, helped them to receive closure and allowed them to move on with their lives.

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Media Enquiries:    Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Monday 5th October 2015
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