Victims meet offenders face to face

9 January 2013, 05:00

Victims of crime in the West Midlands say they feel safer and confident again after meeting their offenders face to face.

Restorative justice is a new approach by West Midlands Police that has been up and running in Birmingham since May 2012.
 
More than 100 offenders and victims have already taken part and now the force is considering extending the pilot to other parts of the region.
 
Victims have been sharing their thoughts in a new video to encourage more people to take part:
 

The main aim of the approach is to give victims the chance to tell offenders about the real impact of their crime, to get answers to their questions that remain unanswered in the traditional justice process and hopefully even get an apology and/or reparation.
 
But it also holds offenders to account their actions, helping them understand the real impact of what they have done and supporting them in taking responsibility and making amends.
 
Sergeant Allan Green, who is developing restorative justice for West Midlands Police, said: "We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the positive responses we've had from victims, offenders and even our own officers; and that's after just eight months.
 
"Of course it doesn't work every time and it's not suitable for every situation, but when it works, it's incredibly powerful and life changing for victims and offenders."
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