Crime victims given chance to meet offenders

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City crime victims will be among the first in England to have the opportunity to speak to their offenders.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has commissioned Thames Valley Restorative Justice Service (TVRJS) to provide Victim-Initiated Restorative Justice (RJ) across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley said: “RJ has proven to bring many benefits in aiding the recovery of victims of crime, and I have heard firsthand from victims the impact it has had in providing closure.

“I am delighted to be funding this service for the Thames Valley and to be supporting RJ Week.”

This week is International Restorative Justice Week and the OPCC is working with TVRJS to promote the service and raise awareness of the benefits of RJ.

RJ is the process of bringing together those affected by crime with those responsible, to help repair the harm and agree a positive way forward.

The process can help empower victims by having their voice heard, as well as helping perpetrators to face up to the consequences of their actions.

The victim-initiated service gives victims the opportunity to request RJ themselves, during any stage of the criminal justice process, or even if they haven’t reported to the police.

C/Insp Mick Saunders from TVP’s Criminal Justice department said: ‘Thames Valley Police fully supports the use of Restorative Justice and we would encourage victims of crime to use this service.

‘People that have taken part in this process often find that it demystifies the reasons behind why they became a victim and their accounts have been shown to highly influence offenders away from future crimes.’

For more information on the RJ process please visit the TVRJS website.

Victims who have taken part in RJ have said:

“It has given me back the key to my life”

“There is nothing now that I cannot face or conquer”

“RJ helps you to face the problem you’ve feared”