Victims to get chance to confront offenders in Gloucestershire as part of Restorative Justice scheme
A NEW scheme encouraging communication between offenders and their victims is to be rolled out in Gloucestershire to help repair the damage done by criminal acts.
Restorative Justice gives victims the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crime and to get answers to their questions, as well giving offenders the opportunity to do something to repair the harm.
Now the county’s own scheme, Restorative Gloucestershire, is starting which has been formed from statutory and voluntary sector organisations.
It works by offering people who come into contact with the criminal justice system an opportunity to participate in a restorative intervention.
Over the coming months, hundreds of officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary will be trained in how to use Restorative Justice, something set out in the county's 2013-17 Police and Crime Plan.
Victims of crime maybe able to let the offenders know how they have been affected by their actions, provided the offender has admitted guilt for the offence.
Additionally offenders, or a family member that thinks this is fitting, can let the victim know if they wish to explain and apologise through correspondence via the Restorative Justice unit. All correspondence would be done in letters or in a face to face meeting and would be confidential as well as thoroughly risk assessed.
No personal information is passed without permission.
On Monday, September 16, leaders of the various groups inolved held a conference to mark the roll out.
Those in attendance included Gloucestershire Constabulary assistant chief constable Sally Crook and superintendent Tony Godwin, Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, and Trevor Watson of Restorative Solutions.
Also attending the conference was the Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove and assistant chief constable Gary Shewan of the Association of Chief Police Officers, who is the national lead on Restorative Justice.
Project co-ordinator Rebecca Beard said the roll out had been very successful and they were looking forward to getting feedback on its effects.
Visit www.restorativegloucestershire.co.uk for more information or contact Rebecca Beard on 01242 247209 or email@example.com Restorative Gloucestershire is also looking for volunteers to bring together people affected by crime or anti-social behaviour and those who caused that harm.
Volunteers will be asked to give their time to prepare for the meetings between victims and offenders by speaking with both parties first so they each know what to expect, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Anyone interested in getting involved is asked to contact Restorative Gloucestershire on 01242 276702.
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