PCC gives a voice to victims of crime to help repair the harm

A ‘new and bold’ service is being launched to give victims of crime in Norfolk and Suffolk the chance to meet and question those responsible.

The Police and Crime Commissioners for Norfolk and Suffolk have commissioned Victim Support to deliver the new Restorative Justice Service, which will put the needs of the victim first.

Suffolk PCC, Tim Passmore said, “Suffolk has a great track record for putting the needs of victims at the centre of the criminal justice system and I am pleased to support this new Restorative Justice Service to further help victims.

“This new service run by Victim Support is an extension of the excellent working relationship we have already established with them.

“Using innovative approaches such as Restorative Justice is a key aim of my Police and Crime Plan for supporting victims and reducing re-offending rates.”

Neil Luckett Victim Support Restorative Justice Service Manager said: “This new and bold initiative will bring benefits to victims of crime in appropriate cases, enabling them to initially cope with the impact of the crime and eventually recover from the effects of it.

“Restorative Justice can give victims of crime a voice in the Criminal Justice process. Whilst the victim will be the focus of our work, there are added benefits to the wider community, offenders and others who cause harm as we know that Restorative Justice does reduce re offending and provides long term solutions to reducing levels of crime.

If anyone has been a victim of crime, or has been harmed as the result of a crime or other incident, and feel they want answers to questions about the crime from the person who committed it, then they can contact the Restorative Justice Service to discuss their case and how we may be able to help them”

Kevin Wilkins, Head of Criminal Justice said: “Suffolk Constabulary is fully supportive of this additional service to deliver Restorative Justice in Norfolk and Suffolk. We know Restorative Justice works. It gives victims the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crimes, get answers to their questions and receive an apology whilst giving offenders the chance to understand the real impact of what they have done and to do something to repair the harm.”

Restorative Justice (RJ) brings together victims of crime and those responsible to find a positive way forward for all concerned. It gives victims the chance to have their say, to get answers to their questions, and to move on with their lives.

Evidence shows that 85% of victims who have taken part in RJ activity have been satisfied with the outcome and that it has reduced reoffending rates by 14%. The Victims’ Code now states that all victims of crime should have access to RJ in appropriate cases.

The service will use its trained volunteers to undertake safe RJ activity with victims and offenders, working alongside other partners in the Criminal Justice and Restorative Justice fields.

The new service officially launches on Tuesday February 24.

To contact the Restorative Justice Service you can e-mail rjnorfolksuffolk@victimsupport.org.uk or call Victim Support 0845 4565995

• The Restorative Justice (RJ) Service, commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioners for Norfolk and Suffolk.

• Restorative Justice (RJ) means it is ‘a process which brings together those harmed by crime, and those responsible for the harm, into communication enabling everyone affected by an incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward’.

• RJ aims to provide the victim with a voice, giving them an opportunity to begin to cope and recover from the impact of a crime and has been shown to reduce re-offending rates.