MORE than 100 police officers in Rotherham have been trained in the benefits of restorative justice.
The training scheme focused on boosting officers’ understanding of the services available to victims and how to promote them.
Restorative justice involves bringing criminals and victims together — either in person or by letter — so the former understands their impact and the latter can seek an apology.
It can also be used in non-crime situations like neighbour disputes, anti-social behaviour and hate incidents.
So far, more than 90 PCs and eight sergeants and inspectors on four Rotherham shift teams have completed the training at either Main Street Police Station or Robert Dyson House in, Manvers.
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (pictured), said: “Quite often somebody causing the harm to a person doesn’t appreciate what the consequences are and how this is causing significant distress.
“By bringing all parties concerned together in a safe environment, it gives them opportunity to discuss the issues and come to an agreed way forward.”
Dr Billings said face-to-face meetings could be the victim’s only opportunity to find out the circumstances and “fit together the final pieces of a jigsaw”.
There was some evidence the sessions had an impact on offenders and could reduce re-offending, he said.
Victims can also self-refer themselves for restorative justice at any time during the criminal justice process.
For more information visit www.restorativesouthyorkshire.co.uk.