Access to Justice: Hate Crime and RJ Lancashire

Published: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017


After high levels of interest from PCC areas all over England and Wales, Why me? is pleased to announce that we are teaming up with Lancashire Constabulary for the first phase of our project, Access to Justice: Hate Crime and RJ. 

The aim of the Access to Justice project is to improve access to RJ for victims of hate crimes, allowing them to make an informed choice about their recovery. Over the course of the three year project, Why me? will be working with multiple police forces and PCC areas to improve hate crime victims’ access to RJ by:

 

  • Connecting our RJ expertise with the expertise of anti-hate and identity-based organisations to identify the particular support needs for specific groups and other considerations that need to be taken into account in the hate crime RJ process
  • Producing practical guidance for practitioners on how the RJ process can be adjusted for specific groups’ needs based on our findings
  • Capturing this process in a model that can be replicated with different groups in different areas, so that guidance is always tailored to specific needs
  • Surfacing any important policy recommendations

We will be working with Lancashire for the first five months of the project and plan to work with others after this initial phase. If you interested in being involved in the project, get in touch with Project Lead Laura Ho at laura.ho@why-me.org.

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What we know so far:

Victims of hate crimes are less likely to be satisfied by the police handling of the incident than victims of other crimes (British Crime Survey for England and Wales 2014/15).

Government research has shown that Restorative Justice can result in 85% victim satisfaction rates, and a 14% reduction in the frequency of re-offending. (Access the reports here).

Recent research suggests that Restorative Justice could improve the emotional wellbeing of hate crime victims. (Hate Crime and Restorative Justice, Mark Walters).

What we want to find out:

By working with community groups, we want to identify the barriers, support needs and other considerations that need to be taken into account in the restorative process for groups who are targeted by hate crime.

What practical guidance do practitioners need on how the RJ process can be best used for hate crime and for specific groups of victims?

Does this have implications for Government policy on tackling hate crime?

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Lucy Jaffe, Why Me? Director says:

Solely putting hate crime offenders into custody is unlikely to resolve the harm caused or stop the prejudice that caused the crime. Used alongside any punishment, Restorative Justice has the potential to really identify and address the harms caused by hate crime. It offers victims the opportunity to take back control by telling their story and having their voices heard. The reality of victims’ suffering is brought into focus for offenders, allowing them to see the humanity in their victims and helping them to change.

We are delighted to be working with Lancashire, with their proven track record on commitment to RJ and their enthusiasm to provide sector-leading support to victims.

 

Helena Cryer, Restorative Justice Manager at Lancashire Constabulary says:

We are really looking forward to working with ‘Why Me?’ on this exciting project in 2018. The utilisation of Restorative Justice for Hate Crime and Hate Incidents can have recognised benefits for victims and we are keen in Lancashire to further develop the access that victims have to Restorative Justice.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about Access to Justice: Hate Crime and RJ, get in touch with laura.ho@why-me.org

This work is funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust

© 2018 Why me? Charity no. 1137123. Company no. 6992709.