Police transform 'life changing' restorative justice programme which unites victims with offenders
A 'life changing' programme which seeks to bridge the gap between villain and victim is continuing in Lancashire despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lancashire police's Restorative Justice scheme is continuing to offer face to face meetings between victims and offenders using virtual technology, telephone meetings and community spaces.
Helena Cryer, Lancashire police's Restorative Justice manager, said: “Restorative Justice is a process which seeks to bring victims back into the heart of the criminal justice process, by allowing them to have a voice and the opportunity to ask questions of the offender through a structured meeting process which aims to bring closure to both parties.
“The process allows victims to move forward and recover and can prevent offenders reoffending in the future. We also utilise Restorative Justice as an alternative to court in order to resolve conflict, often this is used as part of a diversionary process especially with children and young people.
“I am pleased that we have managed to adapt our processes to ensure that both victims of crime and offenders continue to have the opportunity to take part in this life-altering process.
“Demand for Restorative Justice has remained consistent and the team continue to receive a high number of referrals.
“I want to take this opportunity to reassure anybody interested in taking part in Restorative Justice that our service is very much here to support you and answer any questions that you might have.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "Victims of crime are often left with unanswered questions. Restorative Justice provides the opportunity to get answers and can be a powerful way to help victims move forward from what has happened. Meeting the offender can be a daunting thought but the Restorative Justice team at Lancashire Constabulary can offer the advice and assurance people need to take this step.
"Restorative Justice has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of perpetrators reoffending, a key aim in my police and crime plan for Lancashire.
"I am really pleased to see the team utilising digital technology to continue this important work during the pandemic to empower victims and to help them get the answers they deserve."
If you have been a victim of crime and are considering Restorative Justice, further information about the process can be obtained by contacting the team on 01772 413680, or by email at [email protected]