RESTORATIVE Justice is a process that brings together those who have been affected by crime and those that are responsible for the harm. It empowers everyone affected to have a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.
Your Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, has signed a pledge to work to ensure that all victims of crime across the Dyfed-Powys area are better informed of Restorative Justice, to enable them to decide for themselves whether it is a process they want to take part in.
Why Me?, a national charity delivering and promoting access to Restorative Justice for people affected by crime, has contacted all Police and Crime Commissioners to ask that they take this pledge.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I fully support the use of Restorative Justice within our local criminal justice system, and I am very happy to take this pledge. Restorative Justice can be a vital part of a victim’s journey.
“It is important that victims are given a voice; that they have the opportunity to ask questions and to explain how they have been affected by what happened.”
Lucy Jaffe, Director of Why Me? said: “Restorative Justice transforms the recovery of people affected by crime. Taking part is a deeply personal choice, which every victim of crime should be able to explore for themselves. But too many people are never told about this opportunity, despite their entitlement to information under the Victims’ Code.
“It’s fantastic that PCC Llywelyn has signed our pledge to support greater access to restorative services for people affected by crime.”
As Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Llywelyn also has a duty under the Victims’ Code of Practice to ensure that victims are able to access Restorative Justice. Throughout his time as Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Llywelyn has demonstrated his support of, and commitment to this process: He has provided funding for the Wales Community Rehabilitation Company to support victims in preparing for the Restorative Justice process and to facilitate meetings or communication with the offender.
David Masters, Mentoring and Restorative Justice Manager at Wales Probation Services said: “Our service is important because it gives victims a voice, and a say in what happens next after a crime has been sentenced. Many victims of crime have questions about what happened, and Restorative Justice gives you the opportunity to meet or contact the person who committed a crime against you, ask questions, and speak your mind in a facilitated space.
“Taking part in Restorative Justice is voluntary, and those who choose to take part can change their mind at any time. Ministry of Justice research has found that 85% of victims who take part in Restorative Justice would recommend it to others. The figure on our own service in Wales is that over 90% of victims would recommend it to others.”
As a result of relatively low referral numbers in to this service locally, Mr Llywelyn sought the views of victims on the Restorative Justice process itself, in line with the work of the Dyfed-Powys Victim Engagement Forum – a partnership approach to ensuring that the voice of victims influences the scrutiny of service provision to victims.
Following analysis of the engagement results, Mr Llywelyn’s Office presented a detailed report, along with a number of recommendations to members of the Local Criminal Justice Board. The report will also be discussed by key representatives of partner agencies at the Board’s Victim and Witness sub group, and in particular will be incorporated into the current project within Dyfed-Powys Police focusing on improving the end to end service received by victims. The recommendations will be considered by partners and progress reported on.
Mr Llywelyn adds: “It is very important that all victims are provided with information on the Restorative Justice process, and I pledge to work to ensure that all victims in the Dyfed-Powys area are empowered to make a personal choice regarding Restorative Justice.”