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Being a voice for victims a top priority as PCC marks Restorative Justice Week

23 November 2023

A showcase event focusing on supporting victims and reducing reoffending has been opened by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones.

The Restorative Justice Conference, hosted by Restorative Solutions, took place in Fareham on Wednesday 22 November 2023 as part of Restorative Justice (RJ) Week.

The international campaign, from 19-25 November 2023, highlights the process and the organisations involved, and this year’s theme is ‘Restoring Dialogue, Solidarity and Justice in Today’s Societies’.

Restorative Justice gives victims the opportunity to communicate with the person responsible for the crime, allowing victims to be heard. Evidence shows that 85% of victims who participate in RJ are happy with the process, which also reduces reoffending by 14%.

PCC Donna Jones said: “The criminal justice system is not the best outcome for all crimes and all victims. Restorative Justice can stop reoffending and allow the victim to put their thoughts and feelings to the person who committed the crime against them.

“Victims of crime and anti-social behaviour are often left feeling angry and powerless. This process can provide closure helping victims to deal with the trauma they have been through.

“Restorative Justice offers offenders the opportunity to take responsibility for the harm they have caused proving a greater success in totally stopping offending behaviour.”

Improving outcomes for victims is one of the priorities in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan, with Hampshire and the Isle of Wight having one of the most inclusive RJ services in the UK.

Offences of any nature are accepted as long as either the victim or offender lives in either of the two counties, or the offence was committed in either Hampshire or on the Isle of Wight. There is no time limit for people wanting to access the service, and this means victims can engage with Restorative Justice years after the offence was committed.

The aim of the Restorative Justice Conference was to bring partners together including police, probation, victim services, community safety partnerships, health and youth justice services to myth bust, challenge assumptions and further increase confidence in the RJ process.

PCC Donna Jones added: “The conference brought key partners together to highlight the dedicated and comprehensive Restorative Justice service that we have here in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“Having been the national lead for victims and now as Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, I’m passionate about providing accessible and trauma-informed services that empower victims to make decisions about what is right for them.”

Other speakers at the event included representation from the Restorative Justice Council, HMP Guys Marsh as well as a victim who went through the RJ experience.

This victim made contact with Restorative Solutions following a discussion with the police officer who was dealing with her case. The offender had been given a conditional caution with a condition for a formal apology or Restorative Justice as the victim felt this was the best outcome for her. She explained that the offender was her biological father describing many incidents of sexual, physical and emotional abuse during her teenage years. Letters were exchanged between the victim and the offender, and the victim concludes that the RJ process had a very positive impact and she felt her voice had been heard. The offender described the service as exemplary.

The Police and Crime Commissioner recommissioned the RJ service across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight earlier this year and Restorative Solutions was awarded a three year contract, with the potential to extend for up to a further two years, to continue delivering the service.

Director of Practice Delivery at Restorative Solutions, Tony Walker, said: “We are pleased and proud to be working with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in delivering Restorative Justice for those harmed by crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We are grateful to have been recommissioned this year, and look forward to working with partners across the two counties over the coming years to improve outcomes for victims.”

In the 2022-23 financial year, referrals to the RJ service increased by 21%, from 315 to 381, and Restorative Solutions facilitated 284 RJ processes. Out of 148 offenders who engaged, 125 (84%) have not reoffended in the 12 months following the restorative process.

Of those that provided feedback, 81% of participants saw an improvement across four different outcomes – improved health and well-being, better able to cope with aspects of everyday life, increased feelings of safety, and better informed and empowered to act. The remaining 19% were recorded as seeing no change, with 0% of participants reporting a deterioration.

To find out more about the Restorative Justice service, call 0800 043 8785, email or visit