Leading national and local experts in Restorative Justice will come together at a regional conference to discuss the approach across Cleveland and the North East.
The conference, spearheaded by Cleveland Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, will set the scene for how the practice of using restorative justice is used in the coming months and years.
It is a tool used by police and partners to take into account the victim’s needs and involves them in discussions around what form of reparation would be suitable following a crime, antisocial behaviour or ‘harm’ to the wider community. For low level offences, this could be things such as removing graffiti the offender has written or repairing damage they have caused.
Restorative Justice has been used successfully across the Force since April 2013 for those under 18, and the scheme has more recently been extended to adults who are first time, low-level offenders.
Partners across Cleveland are also using the approach for higher level offences, and conference delegates will hear of examples where it has been used for more serious offences across the country.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: "Our job is to protect the public and tackle crime, antisocial behaviour and bring offenders to justice. Restorative justice plays a vital role in reassuring victims, addressing offender behaviour and preventing further harm but it’s not a soft option.
"The conference brings agencies, victims and offenders together to share their stories of how restorative justice has impacted their lives in a positive way and will help us to explore ways in which we can work together in the future."
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: "I’ve always heralded the use of restorative justice and believe that Cleveland has a strong foundation to build on this approach for years to come.
"I firmly believe that victims should be at the heart of any decision which is made about offenders. Restorative justice allows people to have a say on how someone is dealt with, to have a chance to change a young person or first time offenders behaviour, and have them face the consequence of their actions head on."
Posted on Wednesday 17th September 2014