Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Supporting Restorative Justice Week 2020

13th November 2020

International Restorative Justice Week is soon to get underway and the many benefits of the approach will be highlighted to local communities. #RJWeek2020

Running between Sunday 15th and 22nd November, it will help to raise awareness among victims, with various virtual and online events shared across social media. @RJWestYorkshire and www.rjwestyorkshire.org.uk

  • Sunday 15th between 5:30pm and 7pm - An introduction to Restorative Justice and Victim support via the Leeds Faith Forum.
  • Monday 16th between 2pm to 3pm - Restorative Justice presentation and Q&A event.
  • Tuesday 17th between 6pm and 7pm - presentation and Q&A on the theme of Hate Crime and Restorative Justice.
  • Tuesday 17th between 11am and 12noon - West Yorkshire Police Facebook Live event.
  • Wednesday 18th between 11am and 12noon - Youth Offending Team Facebook Live event.
  • Thursday 19th between 2pm and 3pm - Facebook Live on the theme of Victim Support.

Restorative justice (RJ) allows both a victim and offender to meet with a goal of sharing their experience of what happened.

It helps victims to reduce any feelings of anxiety, empowering them as part of their personal rehabilitation.

It also enables a consensus to be reached around what the offender can do to take responsibility for their actions, whilst preventing the potential for further harm.

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and key partners are underlining the difference it can make and its ongoing relevance within a wide range of contexts.

In particular, its significance during the current COVID pandemic, which is also a key theme of this year’s campaign.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson said:

“Raising awareness of restorative justice services and opportunities is particularly important, as it helps to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice process, understanding some of the very human aspects involved.

“There is clear evidence to indicate that this approach has made a genuine difference to people’s lives over the years, which is why I commissioned the service in 2018, investing £900,000 over a three year period.

“It means there is now the same level of support wherever you live in West Yorkshire, helping victims to achieve positive steps in their recovery.

“I have heard and seen first-hand the personal experiences that people have had of Restorative Justice approaches in West Yorkshire and the impact it continues to have.

“In providing this as an option, we can generate greater victim satisfaction and also put offenders on a positive path that deters future criminal behaviour in their community.

“An acknowledgement and understanding of the harm an offence has caused to victims and a reconciliation through rehabilitation can only be a good thing and is something we all want to see wherever appropriate.”

Kate Brooksbank is the West Yorkshire Service Delivery Manager for Restorative Solutions and said:

“In West Yorkshire we are undertaking significant work to increase awareness of Restorative Justice with both victims and offenders.

“We know the benefits it can bring for victims, allowing them to ask questions and explain the impact that the offence has had for them.

“We want to raise more awareness that all victims are entitled to information about Restorative Justice as part of the Victims Code and we would encourage both victims and offenders to get in touch if they would like to find out more about what the service can offer.”

Superintendent Sareth Humpage, of West Yorkshire Police, said:

“We believe the victim’s voice is a crucial element of the criminal justice process and we work closely with partners, including the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, to ensure their needs are met.

“Restorative justice helps to reduce re-offending as it makes perpetrators understand the true impact and consequences of their actions. “Any initiative that helps to promote restorative justice is welcomed and we give our full support to this week of raising awareness.”