Crime victims will be given chance to meet their offenders

PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 February 2015 | UPDATED: 18:00 24 February 2015

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Victims of crime will be given the opportunity to meet their offender in a bold new service.

The Police and Crime Commisioners for Norfolk and Suffolk are to deliver a new Restorative Justice Service, where victims will be able to meet and ask questions to offenders, in the aim that it will help victims recover from crimes they have suffered from.

Previous figures have shown that 85pc of victims who have taken part in similar activities have been satisfied with the outcome and that it has reduced re-offending rates by 14pc.

The new service was launched across Norfolk and Suffolk yesterday.

Deputy PCC for Norfolk Jenny McKibben, said: “As a county Norfolk leads the way in terms of restorative justice approaches and this new service is the next step forward.

“It will enable more specialist provision for more complex cases freeing up police officer time and importantly, the service will be victim lead and help them cope and recover.”

Neil Luckett Victim Support Restorative Justice service manager, added: “It can give victims of crime a voice in the criminal justice process.

“Whilst the victim will be the focus of our work, there will be added benefits to the wider community, offenders and others who cause harm as we know the system does reduce re-offending and provides long term solution to reducing levels of crime.

“If anyone has been a victim of crime, or has been harmed as a result of a crime or other incident, and feel they want answers to questions about the crime from the person who committed it, then they can contact the Restorative Justice Service to discuss their case and see how we may be able to help them.”

The Victims’ Code now states that all victims of crime should have access to restorative justice in appropriate cases.

The service will work by using its trained volunteers to undergo restorative justice activity with victims and offenders, to work alongside other partners in the criminal justice and restorative justice fields.

To contact the restorative justice service people can email or alternatively call victim support on 0845 4565995.

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