Police and Crime Commissioner funding victim – led restorative justice service

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, has today published his ‘invite to tender’ for a new 3-year Victim – Led Restorative Justice (RJ) service in the area. The announcement comes during International Restorative Justice week which has seen the MoJ highlight the importance of RJ through their ‘What would you do?’ campaign.

The new service will promote, coordinate and deliver high quality Restorative Justice which has been initiated by victims of crime at any time before, during or after any criminal proceedings, including at the pre-sentence stage where a recent change in legislation allows judges to defer sentence to allow Restorative Justice to take place.

RJ is the process of bringing together those harmed by crime with those responsible, to help repair the harm and agree a positive way forward. The process can help empower victims through having their voices heard, as well as helping perpetrators to face up to the consequences of their actions.

RJ has been successfully used in the past with figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) stating that 85% of victims that have taken part in RJ are satisfied with the process and 78% would recommend it to others.

The provider for this service is expected to be announced in early 2015 with the service starting from April 2015.

Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley said: “Supporting those affected by crime is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.  Restorative Justice which has been initiated by victims of crime, rather than by offenders, is a relatively new concept.  I am convinced that by increasing the opportunities for victims to request and experience Restorative Justice, we will greatly assist individuals, and the people around them who have also been affected by the crime, to recover from the experience.

“Restorative Justice gives victims the chance to explain to offenders the real impact of their crime, get answers to their questions and can help victims to move on with their lives.

“I am looking to commission a high quality Restorative Justice Service in the Thames Valley which is tailored to the individual needs of the victim.”

For more details of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioners intentions for commissioning victims services, please visit http://www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/Partnership/Victims-Services.aspx

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