Would you meet a person who had committed a crime against you?
That is the question raised in a new a Restorative Justice campaign supported by Kirklees Community Safety Partnership and West Yorkshire Police.
The awareness campaign followed International Restorative Justice Week last month.
The practice gives victims the chance to meet or communicate with the person or people who have caused them harm – to explain the real impact they’ve had on them.
It also holds offenders to account for what they’ve done and helps them to take responsibility.
And here in Kirklees, over the last 18 months, the partnership has made significant progress in ensuring that it has a full array of options available for all victims.
Supt Ged McManus, from West Yorkshire Police, said: ”We know that Restorative Justice can provide good outcomes for victims and we now have these services more embedded and available for victims to access.
“It also means that restorative approaches can be offered at the right time and at the right level to contribute towards preventing crime and the reduction of re-offending.”
Restorative Justice can be initiated by either by the victim or the perpetrator but the Kirklees partnership is committed to ensuring that victims’ needs always remain fundamental and central to the process.
Clr Peter O’Neill, who chairs the local Safer Stronger Partnership Executive Board, said: “I have seen how restorative justice has developed and strengthened in Kirklees and we know that this work can continue to contribute to making our communities safer and reduce the fear of crime.’
Restorative Justice is continuing to develop in Kirklees with an innovative course for people that have received a Fixed Penalty Notice for certain environmental offences.
Neighbourhood Resolution Panels are one of a number of interventions that the Kirklees Partnership can offer to people affected by anti-social behaviour and minor offences.
These take the form of a meeting facilitated by a trained volunteer mediator who brings together all affected parties to allow them to reach a mutually agreeable outcome to repair the harm that has been caused.
The Youth Offending Team also offer restorative interventions to every victim of crime where a young person is issued with a Youth Caution, Youth Conditional Caution or is convicted.
For more information about Restorative Justice contact Alexia Gray Community Resolution Officer on 01484 221000.