Police Commissioner partners national project to provide support for victims of hate crime
June 8th, 2018
POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite is today announcing increased support for victims of hate crime by partnering national charity ‘Why me?’ to increase the number of victims accessing Restorative Justice.
Restorative Justice (RJ) allows victims of crime to meet their offender in a safe environment so they can talk about how they feel as a result of the crime. The process is completely voluntary for both parties and is done at a time that is right for the victim.
The charity campaigns for greater access to Restorative Justice for victims in England and Wales.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is the second police force in England and Wales to join a new project, ‘Access to Justice: Hate Crime and Restorative Justice’ which supports victims of hate crime to make informed choices about their recovery.
Police Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said:
“Hate crime can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, often leaving people with long term psychological consequences. Ensuring victims of hate crime are able to meet their offender in a restorative justice conference at a time that is right for them remains one of my priorities.
“The process can empower victims by letting them have their say and helping them to move on with their lives. It can also help offenders to recognise the impact of what they have done and make amends.
“The RJ service provided by the Constabulary is just one aspect of our end to end support for victims of crime.”
The project will work with community groups across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to raise awareness of restorative justice, and discuss what practical support might persuade more victims of hate crime to consider RJ as part of their recovery.
The efforts of the Constabulary-led, multi-agency Restorative Justice Hub were recognised in 2017 by the Restorative Justice Council. The award, the Restorative Service Quality Mark recognises the county-wide service provides safe, high quality restorative practice and meets a strict set of standards.
Ministry of Justice research has shown that RJ can result in 85 per cent victim satisfaction and a 14 per cent reduction in the frequency of re-offending.
Steve Welby, Head of Victim and Witness Hub, Cambridgeshire Constabulary says:
“Offering Restorative Justice to help victims to cope and recover from their experience is an important part of the Victim and Witness Hub service. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to improve access to this service by victims of Hate Crime through this work with Why Me?”
Rob Hall, Hate Crime Lead, Cambridgeshire Constabulary says:
“Hate Crime is an offence that can have a very significant impact on the victim and it is right that we work with partners to give them all the support we can.”
Laura Ho, Why me? Policy Development Officer and project lead says:
“Simply putting hate crime offenders into custody is unlikely to resolve the harm or stop the prejudice that caused the crime. Restorative justice has the potential to address that harm by empowering victims to take back control and share their story. The process also brings the reality of victims’ suffering into focus for offenders.
“We are extremely excited to be working with the Commissioner and Cambridgeshire Constabulary on this project.”
For more details about Restorative Justice in Cambridgeshire, visit: http://www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-crime-plan/victims-witnesses/restorative-justice/
For more information about ‘Why me?’ visit: https://why-me.org/about-us/