A member of the OPCC is attending a regional event focusing on commissioning effective restorative justice services today.
They will be joining other Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and members of their commissioning teams at the event in Blackburn hosted by the Restorative Justice Council.
Restorative justice brings together people harmed by crime or conflict with those responsible for the harm, to find a positive way forward.
It gives victims a chance to explain to offenders the real impact of their crime, to get answers to their questions. It allows victims to ask 'why me?' and provides them with the opportunity to challenge the offender’s behaviour.
Since 2015, PCCs across England and Wales have taken responsibility for commissioning restorative justice services in their area and on Merseyside, Victim Support, have been commissioned through the Victim Care Merseyside service to provide this support.
The purpose of today's event, which is one of a number being run across the country, is to:
- Raise awareness and understanding amongst PCCs of the case for restorative justice, drawing on evidence of its benefits and relevant legislation.
- Bring attendees up to speed on the latest research and legislation relating to restorative justice and its application across England and Wales - especially in relation to complex and sensitive cases.
- Support PCCs in the design, commissioning and delivery of safe and effective restorative justice services.
- Facilitate more effective collaboration around restorative justice delivery between and across PCCs and police forces and other agencies, through sharing of best practice.
- Establish peer-to-peer knowledge sharing networks to further the delivery of high quality restorative justice.
The Deputy PCC said: “Restorative justice is about giving victims the chance to be heard, to get answers and to get a sense of closure. Giving victims the chance to come face-to-face with those who have committed crimes against them can help them to find a really positive way forward.
"I'm pleased to be attending this event hosted by the Restorative Justice Council aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of RJ, sharing best practice and examining how we can work together to deliver the best possible service for victims of crimes in our areas."
Studies on restorative justice have highlighted:
- 85% of victims who participated in face-to-face restorative justice were satisfied.
- Restorative justice reduces the frequency of reoffending and led to £8 savings for every £1 spent.
- 78% of victims that participated would recommend restorative justice to other victims.
- Restorative justice reduced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms for victims.
- Restorative justice has been found to significantly reduce levels of fear and anger in victims.
If you're interested in finding out more or think restorative justice could help you, please contact Victim Support, the PCC's commissioned provider of restorative justice on Merseyside. Alternatively, please visit www.victimcaremerseyside.org for information and advice or to access support following a crime.
You can also find out more about the Restorative Justice Council by visiting their website here.