A new service designed to help victims of crime recover in Erewash and South Derbyshire, is being funded by county Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles. He has granted £30,000 to services and training provider Remedi to deliver restorative justice services for victims of youth crime and young offenders.
Remedi is working in partnership with Derbyshire Youth Offending Service, Derbyshire Constabulary and the PCC to deliver Neighbourhood Justice Panels - a community justice process building on the knowledge and experience of the pilot scheme established a year ago in Derby city.
Speaking during Restorative Justice Week (16-23 November), the Commissioner commented: "These panels will help victims both cope and recover from their experiences so I am delighted to be able to fund their expansion into other areas of the county.
"My grant will mean that victims can be supported through trained restorative justice practitioners. It is a tried-and-tested process which I also expect to result in fewer first-time entrants into the criminal justice system. These side-by-side outcomes make the project doubly beneficial and valuable to our communities."
Mr Charles pointed out that restorative justice - which may involve the victim having the opportunity to tell the offender how they felt at becoming a target of crime - was increasingly being used to support victims and reduce crime. "It's about the victim having a voice, which can help the recovery process, and the offender understanding the impact the offence had on the victim and having the chance to repair the harm caused," he said.
His grant funding comes from the Ministry of Justice to help him build on the capability and capacity of local services and systems to deliver victim-focussed restorative justice services. The project will enable victims to fully engage with the Community Justice Panel (CJP) process, and enable Criminal Justice Services to address anti-social behaviour and other low-level crimes referred by the police and bodies such as housing and Community Support Officers.
Remedi director Steve Jones said the scheme will ‘go live' in the next couple of weeks. Accredited restorative justice training courses will be provided for volunteer facilitators from January, with recruitment starting in December.
He added: "We are delighted to have received the PCC's support to enable us to deliver community justice panels on a wider basis in the county. Building on the success of the Derby city pilot, we are looking forward to extending the availability of the service in Erewash and South Derbyshire.
"Working with the OPCC over the last year has been hugely positive and a truly collaborative experience with a complete focus on delivering the best possible services for the people in Derbyshire."
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 18th November 2014