21 Nov 2017

Crime can have a variety of effects on a victim, and recovery can be complex. But studies have shown that meeting the person who has harmed them can be a huge step in moving forward and recovering from the crime. Many victims have chosen to do just that – it’s called restorative justice and brings a victim of crime or non-crime incidents into contact with their offender in a safe way.

Restorative justice allows the victim to explain the impact the crime has had on them, ask questions and seek an apology. It encourages the offender to take responsibility for their actions and make amends, and the experience can be very challenging for offenders, as it confronts them with the personal impact of their crime.   

Victims are our priority, and restorative justice is an effective victim focussed resolution to a crime or a non-crime incident, and holds offenders, either young people or adults, directly accountable to their victims and can bring them together in a facilitated meeting. Restorative justice can be an alternative resolution to, or complement, the formal criminal justice system.

It’s an opportunity to deliver swift, simple and effective justice with the support of victims and complainants, and provides a learning opportunity for offenders to effective the true effect of their behaviour. We all know that the small proportion of people involved in crime and anti-social behaviour have a significant impact on the quality of life in our communities, and often lasting harm, and we are all united in our belief that this is not acceptable and must be addressed. A restorative approach to low level offending provides a real opportunity to repair that harm, with a truly victim focussed method that provides a satisfactory conclusion that in many cases prevents a reoccurrence. This makes a real difference to victims and our communities as a whole.

Only in low level incidents or offences will this be considered, and it is not an easy option for offenders, as they must accept responsibility for the offence and most importantly demonstrate a commitment to put right the harm done. Suitability is assessed on a case by case basis, and offenders must meet suitability criteria. We will consult with victims at all times to give them a greater voice in the criminal justice system. The most appropriate restorative justice outcome will be sought, which could include recompense either financial or a verbal apology, agreed with them in order to help prevent re-offending and go some way to putting right the wrong.  

We now have trained restorative justice champions in every division of this force area. Please speak to the officer dealing with your case to find out whether this is something you would like to consider and the possible benefits to you.

The Wales Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) is commissioned by the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner to provide a victim led restorative justice service. They work closely with the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and partner agencies to establish processes to ensure victims are aware of restorative justice ideas, the service provided and referral routes.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Research, along with success stories, proves that restorative justice can benefit a wide range of victims and offenders. The statistics prove that restorative justice is a step in the right direction – 85% victim satisfaction rate and 14% reduction in the frequency of reoffending.”

If you’d like to take part in the scheme please email wes.restorativejustice@workinglinkssecure.co.uk or call 01554 773736