Cambridgeshire Police Commissioner partners national project to provide support for victims of hate crime
- Credit: Archant
Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite is encouraging victims of hate crime to access a Restorative Justice programme as he joins forces with national charity ‘Why Me?’
Mr Ablewhite has partnered with the charity which supports victims of hate crime with campaigns for greater access to Restorative Justice for victims in England and Wales.
Restorative Justice (RJ) allows victims of crime to meet their offender in a safe environment so they can talk about how they feel as a result of the crime.
The process is voluntary for both parties and is done at a time that is right for the victim.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is the second police force in England and Wales to join a new project, ‘Access to Justice: Hate Crime and Restorative Justice’ which supports victims to make informed choices about their recovery.
Mr Ablewhite said: “Hate crime can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, often leaving people with long term psychological consequences. Ensuring victims of hate crime are able to meet their offender in a restorative justice conference at a time that is right for them remains one of my priorities.
“The process can empower victims by letting them have their say and helping them to move on with their lives. It can also help offenders to recognise the impact of what they have done and make amends.
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“The RJ service provided by the Constabulary is just one aspect of our end to end support for victims of crime.”
The project will work with community groups across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to raise awareness of restorative justice, and discuss what practical support might persuade more victims of hate crime to consider RJ as part of their recovery.
The efforts of the constabulary-led, multi-agency RJ hub were recognised in 2017 by the Restorative Justice Council.
The award, the Restorative Service Quality Mark recognises the county-wide service provides safe, high quality restorative practice and meets a strict set of standards.
Ministry of Justice research has shown that RJ can result in 85 per cent victim satisfaction and a 14 per cent reduction in the frequency of re-offending.
For more details about Restorative Justice in Cambridgeshire, visit: www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-crime-plan/victims-witnesses/restorative-justice/
For more information about ‘Why me?’ visit:www.why-me.org/about-us/