The chance to look your tormentors in the eye

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Share this article

GREATER Manchester Police is supporting International Restorative Justice Week following another successful year of giving victims the opportunity to face their offender as part of the rehabilitation process.

Restorative justice (RJ) helps victims take an active role in the resolution of crimes committed against them and come face-to-face with their offender, allowing them to ask the questions that only the offender can answer, like “why me?”

Police officers across Greater Manchester have used Restorative Justice to deal with thousands of crimes over the last 12 months.

In addition, there have been 129 referrals to Greater Manchester Police’s Neighbourhood Resolution Panels over the last year, almost double the previous year’s 55 referrals.

Restorative Justice is found to help repair harm and formulate an agreement between victim and offender without resulting in a criminal record.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, GMP’s lead on criminal justice, said: “Restorative justice continues to go from strength to strength for Greater Manchester Police.

“We are committed to supporting victims of crime in any way that we can and RJ gives them the chance to ask questions of the person who carried out the act.

“It also helps them come to terms with why they have become the unfortunate victim of crime, something that goes a long way in their recovery.

“It also helps offenders better understand the consequences of their actions and reduces reoffending levels showing people how their actions change the victims lives can be a real wake up call for offenders and can act as a turning point on their road to rehabilitation.”

GMP refers victims and offenders to restorative justice, sets up panels and works with partners to facilitate them across Greater Manchester.

Partners differ in each area but include local authorities, youth offending teams and housing providers.

2015’s UK contingent for International Restorative Justice Week is led by the Ministry of Justice and its campaign “I’ve got to say something.”

This campaign highlights how restorative justice can help empower victims, give them a voice and help them to move forward with their lives.

Peace campaigner Colin Parry, whose son and former Wigan schoolboy Tim was killed in the Warrington bombing, famously came face to face with the men who stole a memorial plaque to his son and fellow victim Johnathan Ball from the town centre through a restorative justice meeting arranged with police.