Let’s talk about Restorative Justice
If you were a victim of crime, would you want to meet the perpetrator? Do you think facing the victim […]
Most people know my role as focusing on policing and holding the Constabulary to account via the Chief Constable, but my responsibilities do not stop there. I am the Police and Crime Commissioner and I intend to do all that I can to improve people’s experiences within the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in Gloucestershire. This includes doing all I can to support swift justice for victims and witnesses – an issue of particular importance in the pandemic recovery.
Crime is a societal issue that can only really be prevented through agencies and communities working together. But when an offence does occur, other agencies are involved and this jigsaw of services needs to work together to ensure the correct outcomes for offenders and victims.
I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account for the police part of the jigsaw – in particular in raising investigative standards through improved capacity and capabilities.
Through the support of my Office, I will also use my position as chair of the Gloucestershire Local Criminal Justice Board to bring other services together to meet the needs of the county as best they can. In doing so, my office will also continue to support the aims and aspirations of the Gloucestershire Youth Justice Partnership Board which includes lowering the number of first time entrants (FTE) into the Criminal Justice System and ensuring that we no longer see a disproportionate number of children from ethnically diverse communities entering the criminal justice system.
A large proportion of offences are committed by people who have previously been convicted of a crime, and it is my job to always remember the huge impact the actions of these criminals have on victims and wider communities.
However, if we can stop these people from reoffending by following national and international best practice, making the appropriate interventions at the right time and working with partners and local services to support their needs, then we will cut crime in the longer term.
Offenders are more likely to have lived through adverse childhood experiences, less likely to be registered with a GP or dentist, more likely to have attempted suicide and misuse drugs and/or alcohol, more likely to have truanted and been excluded from school, lack basic numeracy, reading and writing skills, more
likely to be in debt, less likely to have settled accommodation and therefore more likely to be homeless.
I firmly believe all local services have a responsibility to do all that they can to be mindful of, and address, these inequalities – the underlying causes of crime – and this concerted, joined-up action will lead to sustained reductions in crime and victimisation.
This is the public health approach to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour that I advocate.
I want to see a considered approach in dealing with offenders where rehabilitation is built around what works and with the best interests of all individuals involved.
This includes (although not exclusively), supporting ongoing activity led by the Constabulary in looking at alternative rehabilitation solutions for female offenders, addressing substance misuse, supporting with accommodation needs, addressing debt and problematic gambling and helping to get the right physical and mental health support.
|Preventing and intervening earlier||Restorative approaches||Working in partnership||Working together|
|Identifying and implementing best practice to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in Gloucestershire, starting with a focus on prevention, intervention and desistance at the earliest opportunity, especially for young people||Through continued support of Restorative Gloucestershire and Children First, improving outcomes for offenders and victims||Working with partners to develop and progress a criminal justice recovery plan, learning from adapted business models to ensure new working practices are more efficient and effective than before, using the response to COVID-19 as a catalyst for change||Utilising and sharing new and existing data to understand the demands
faced by the criminal justice system locally. We will use this to inform future activity in order to deliver a criminal justice service which supports and provides outcomes for victims and helps rehabilitate offenders
|Improving our services to ensure VCOP compliance||Proactive community engagement||Provide and pool resources|
|Through partnership efforts, continue to engage those involved in the criminal justice system, keeping them informed and supported in appropriate and effective ways, helping to maximise the chances of justice being achieved for victims, witnesses, offenders, and communities||Listening to the needs of vulnerable people and victims of crime to support their journey in the criminal justice system||We will seek opportunities to do this where a need is identified to work together with criminal justice partners to improve local provision, where the spend is within the Policing objectives. This may include reviewing opportunities for a Nightingale Court on the police estate.|