Victims deserve better!
The Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, has published part two of her Restorative Justice review. She highlights the fact that less victims have been offered RJ in 2015/16 than in 2014/15.
“To have only 4.2% of the public offered RJ is a real worry, given the investment of £29m by the Ministry of Justice over the last three years.” comments Why me? Director, Lucy Jaffé. “ Victims deserve better!”
A QUESTION OF QUALITY: A REVIEW OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE – PART 2
Recommendations in the Commissioner’s report support the findings of the Valuing Victims Report published by Why me? in the Summer of 2016. We stated that if the public are aware of the RJ provision available through Police and Crime Commissioners then they can access it locally. Our interactive map of RJ services across England and Wales was produced in response to this distinct patchiness of information for victims and professionals who want to find RJ services in their area.
Police and Crime Commissioners have a responsibility to tell victims about Restorative Justice and to ensure that the Police Force in their area are carrying out their duties under the Victim Code. We have called for the Ministry of Justice to hold them to account for their expenditure and delivery of RJ services, and the Justice Committee have done the same in the RJ Inquiry report published in September 2016.
The Commissioner’s report is based upon victim feedback from interviews and focus groups and presents a interesting insight into the views of victims –
The following quotes are from victims who participated in the review:
“I had never heard of RJ before…or had any leaflets”
“It should be learnt in school, there is no general awareness. None of my friends knew about it…I looked it up online. There are YouTube videos about RJ but I didn’t find them very useful”
“There needs to be more public awareness around RJ so victims can ask for it if they have not been offered”
The Victim Commissioner recognises and supports the Why me? view of holding PCC’s accountable for providing restorative services
Para 1.7 – As highlighted in the ‘Valuing Victims’, if the public are aware of the RJ provision available through PCCs then they can access it locally. It also suggests that the public can also hold them to account where there are shortcomings in the service.
Of concern is data which indicates less victims have been offered RJ in 2015/16 than in 2015/16.
The full report by the Victims Commissioner can be accessed here.