"Community resolutions, including restorative justice, offer clear benefits to both victim and offender, and give police flexibility to deal with a variety of offences effectively. Guidelines are in place to help forces decide where the use of community resolutions might be appropriate, but in every case, this decision will be victim led and above all reflect their views and wishes.

"While in the main they are used to deal with less serious offences, there is no simple formula. At times it may be necessary, and appropriate, to use such informal resolutions to deal with more serious cases. In such circumstances, it is far more than likely there will be a restorative justice element to the resolution.

"Many victims of crime tell us that they feel the criminal justice system and courts take over and they are left out, but meeting the offender can bring a degree of closure and help them to move on with their lives. Going through a restorative justice meeting has also been proven to have more impact on an offender than a prison sentence or a court punishment alone, as they see the consequences of their actions and so want to make changes in their future behaviour.

"In each force where restorative justice is offered to victims, specially trained officers will work hard with victims of crime to offer a resolution to their case that they are satisfied with. This will involve carefully assessing the specific circumstances, taking into account the relationship between victim and offender, and crucially, the vulnerabilities of the victim.

"We are clear that these cases should be judged upon their outcomes, not only for the victim, but the offender and wider community."

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