Continued decline in number of victims offered the chance to meet the offender

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22 August 2017

The RJC is disappointed to see a decline in the number of offers made to victims to meet their offender, for the fourth year in a row, according to results from the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Restorative justice has been proven to help the victim put the crime behind them and move on. Its inclusion in a standard offer to victims is crucial to help repair the harm caused by crime.

The RJC is looking to develop its work with the Association of Police Crime Commissioners and the Victims’ Commissioner to help ensure victims throughout the country are given the opportunity to meet their offender, should they wish for that to happen.  Achieving this will require training of frontline staff at all levels so they feel confident talking about it with victims. It will also need improved coordination between the range of organisations working with victims and offenders, to deliver a clear and explicit plan to increase the uptake of restorative justice.

Chris Straker, interim chief executive at the RJC, said:

“Restorative justice is used internationally as part of a range of responses to helping victims, families and communities address the harm caused by crime.  It also has an impact on offenders, contributing to a reduction in repeat offending.” 

“Where restorative justice has been conducted by trained facilitators, who have worked closely with victims and offenders to find a way forward, it is shown to deliver higher rates of satisfaction to victims than through traditional criminal justice processes.”

“The key to improving the offer of restorative meetings between victims and offenders is breaking down misconceptions. For example, the perception that it is a soft option for the offender needs to be challenged by those engaging with victims. The partnership between PCCs, police, victim services and the agencies who work so hard to offer resolution for victims needs to be strengthened, to deliver a joined-up message about restorative justice to the communities they serve.”

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