08 June 2015
A new campaign to raise awareness of the restorative justice
service offered to victims of crime in South Yorkshire was launched
The service offers victims the opportunity to communicate with
the offender who committed the crime against them. It is
hoped that by offering victims the opportunity to meet with the
person who has committed the crime, they will get some important
answers and a chance to have their voice heard and help them move
Dr Alan Billings, Police & Crime Commissioner for South
Yorkshire said: "The Victims Code now states that all victims are
entitled to be given information about restorative justice.
Anyone who has been a victim of crime in South Yorkshire is
entitled to this service completely free of charge.
"Restorative Justice is a harm focused resolution to
crime. It involves bringing the victim and offender in to
communication in a safe environment. This partnership
initiative is aimed at putting the victim first and providing them
with the opportunity to hear the offender admit the crime, to tell
the offender how they feel and how the crime has affected them and
also to receive an apology."
The service is being supported by a Ministry of Justice grant
provided to the Commissioner and is a partnership initiative led by
the South Yorkshire Criminal Justice Board, which comprises
criminal justice partners including Office of the South Yorkshire
Police and Crime Commissioner, South Yorkshire Police, South
Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company, Crown Prosecution
Service, HMCTS (Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service),
Youth Offending Teams, Prisons, Legal Aid Agency and Victim
Support. Remedi are the service provider for restorative justice in
Superintendent Tim Innes said, "Research shows that victims who
have taken part in the practice have found it provides closure and
gives them the opportunity to find answers from their offender.
"Restorative Justice is available to anyone in South Yorkshire
who has been a victim of crime and where there is an identifiable
offender that has admitted responsibility. It is available at
any stage of the criminal justice process and could help victims
cope with the aftermath of a crime."
Steve Jones, Director of Remedi said: Remedi have offered a
restorative justice service to victim for over 18 years. We have
fully trained and accredited practitioners available to work
closely with victims and to explore their options for involvement.
The process is entirely voluntary and at no time will the victim be
pressured in to anything.
"Feedback from victims who have participated is hugely positive
with many expressing that involvement has enabled them to gain
closure and to move on with their lives.
"The launch of the Restorative Justice Hub and the dedicated
website means that more victims will have the opportunity to make
an informed choice if restorative justice is something they wish to
consider and demonstrates the commitment and vision the partners
have to ensuring victims are placed at the heart of the justice
Restorative justice can be face to face in the form of a
restorative justice conference, where the victim has a chance to
ask questions of the offender or via a third party through letters
or shuttle conferencing, where messages can be passed between the
victim and offender.
The restorative justice process is always structured and
facilitated through a trained practitioner.
Victims can find out more information about the restorative
service at www.restorativesouthyorkshire.co.uk
text SYRJ to 82055 or call the dedicated helpline on 0800 561