BBC5 Live Restorative Justice Interview
On Thursday 9th February 2017, Emma Barnett (Radio Five Live 10am-12pm) interviewed ‘Jay’, whose mother was murdered. Ten years on, she met him in a Restorative Justice (RJ) conference. She explains why she wanted to do it and how the process worked and, very movingly, how it has benefited her.
Jay: I can’t keep hating somebody for something that happened ten years ago. I need to move on from it.
Jay’s powerful story demonstrates that Restorative Justice can be empowering, giving the victim a voice and helping address the harm caused by crime.
And yet few than 5% of victims are offered the opportunity to take part as reported in the Office of National Statistics Survey. Behind the statistics are the victims of these crimes. What help and support have they received?
Funding for Restorative Justice
Since 2013, Police and Crime Commissioners have had responsibility for commissioning the majority of support services for victims of crime. The Coalition Government, made £29m of funding available for victims’ services for the next three years but the Restorative Justice element was not ring fenced. Dame Vera Baird, PCC for Northumbria and Victim Lead for PCCs, was also interviewed on Emma Barnett’s programme. She highlighted some of the barriers to setting up RJ locally and explained that for many PCCs it was ‘work in progress’.
The Why me? Valuing Victims Campaign in 2016 mapped the availability of RJ and highlighted huge variance in its availability across England Wales.
All Police and Crime Commissioners must demonstrate that they take the impact of crime seriously and ensure that they meet the requirements of the Victims’ Code. All victims should be offered access to Restorative Justice. — Lucy Jaffe (Director of Why me?)
Increasing Access to Restorative Justice
The interview on BBC 5 Live goes some way to raising the profile and increasing public awareness of Restorative Justice. A special thanks to Becci Seaborne and everyone at Thames Valley Partnership in helping us make today’s interview possible.
We need to see victim services, probation and prison services offer RJ to victims, not just to tick a box, but to make a genuine offer to victims.