Posted on 06 September 2016
A Justice Committee report has said that there are “tangible benefits” of restorative justice to victims and that current provision is subject to a “postcode lottery”. In light of mixed compliance with the Victims’ Code (which requires the police or delivery organisations to provide information on RJ to victims), the Committee recommends the introduction of a system to improve compliance and the inclusion of a right to access such services in the Victims’ Law. However it adds that “it is too soon to introduce a legislative right” but “such a goal is laudable and should be actively worked towards”. Further, the Committee recommends that the Ministry of Justice continues to provide long-term funding for restorative justice to Police and Crime Commissioners, but this money should remain part of a wider pot of funding for victims’ services (as opposed to being ring-fenced).
Commenting on the reportVera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said: “To mitigate the “post-code lottery” nature of the current system, both Katy Bourne, the Sussex PCC and myself advocated ring-fencing funding for restorative justice. While the Justice Committee did not think this was necessary, we strongly welcome the recommendation that the Ministry of Justice consult PCCs to ensure there is sufficient capacity to feasibly introduce an entitlement to RJ under the Victims’ Code”. She went on to say that while the Committee believes RJ should not be excluded for cases of domestic abuse, the APCC thinks that this would be inappropriate.
The Mayor of London,Sadiq Khan, launched a new £1.3 million restorative justice service. The programme is led by victims and will give those who live in London, who have been affected by crime, an opportunity to meet their offender if they wish. It is designed to complement existing services and address any gaps in provision. The development of the programme will be led by Restore: London which is led by Catch 22.
Last updated 6th September 2016