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A programme designed to help victims of crime has been praised by a University of Birmingham report.

The Restorative Justice programme is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner and run by Pioneer Group in partnership with West Midlands Police.  At the request of the victim, a meeting is arranged with their perpetrator. The purpose is for disputes to be resolved and to help the victim get closure following a crime. The meetings are conducted with careful preparation and safety is paramount.  The report found the programme helps improve communication and confronts perpetrators with the impact of their behaviour.

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Cases are referred by West Midlands Police, Birmingham City Council, Environmental Health, Youth Offending Teams, Schools and voluntary organisations.  The purpose of the programme is to seek solutions to real problems in a quicker and simpler way than other methods. The team have managed 1569 referrals and have conducted 468 face to face meetings.

The report concludes that the restorative justice programme is cheaper and quicker than other methods of dealing with such issues.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “I’m delighted that victims of crime have the option of resolving their issues in this way. Restorative Justice isn’t always appropriate, but when the victim chooses to take part, it can have real results. I’m pleased this has been recognised by the University of Birmingham”.

Pete Richmond, CEO at The Pioneer Group, the organisation which runs the Restorative Justice programme added, “The research shows Restorative Justice represents great value for money and most importantly is making a really positive impact on the minority of our tenants and residents who cause harm or are harmed by crime. We look forward to continuing our work on restorative justice and helping many more victims.”

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