Crime Survey shows Restorative Justice Improvement

Published: Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Recent data releases from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show that the proportion of incidents where victims recall being given the opportunity to meet the offender has gone up from 4.1% in 2016/17 to 7.5% in 2017/18.

This is undeniably good news. More victims of crime are being given the opportunity to make an informed choice about their recovery journey. However, 7.5% is a long way off from offering all victims the chance to meet with their offender. And this figure is still lower than the 8.7% reported back in in 2012/13.

So why such slow progress in giving victims an opportunity for restorative justice?

The data does not answer any of the ‘why?’ questions but we would speculate that many of the findings of our 2015 report Barriers and Solutions to Restorative Justice delivery in England and Wales remain relevant. For example:

  • Lack of information and training for criminal justice agencies
  • Lack of clear responsibility for making the offer of Restorative Justice
  • Professional gatekeeping stopping victims from knowing their rights
  • Challenges faced due to Transforming Rehabilitation
  • Lack of public understanding about Restorative Justice

We suggest that these factors all play a role.

The proportion of incidents where victims would have accepted the offer to meet the offender if offered stays roughly steady at 24.3%.

We believe that many victims are still being denied access to Restorative Justice. This has the potential to directly address the harms caused to them through giving them a chance to tell their story, have their questions answered and the have their voice heard.

However, progress is progress and 7.5% is better than 4.1% and for that we are pleased.

You can access the Restorative Justice Crime Survey for England and Wales data on the ONS website here.

If you or anyone you know is interested in accessing Restorative Justice, use our interactive map of restorative justice services to find your local service.

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