Restorative Justice (April 2017)

Pro-active Scrutiny 2016 to 2017

This proactive scrutiny explores and makes recommendation upon the topic of ‘restorative justice’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire in his intention to keep communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe and secure, through reviewing the progress made towards achieving the vision of the Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches Strategy. This scrutiny also considered how the Commissioner was engaging partners across the two counties in delivering this agenda, as well as increasing awareness and engagement from the wider community.

This scrutiny found the Commissioner and his office had engaged well with a wide range of statutory and voluntary sector partners, consulting with them in the development of the new Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches Strategy. In particular the Panel noted that, in launching his new Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches Strategy, the Commissioner had acknowledged the need for, and made commitment to, making restorative justice available to all victims and perpetrators, regardless of the nature of the crime. This expands upon the provision of the previous strategy and was commended by a number of those responding to the review.

In order to support the Commissioner in his intention to make restorative justice available to all victims and perpetrators, the Panel has recommended that the Commissioner seeks further engagement with partners who work with perpetrators, within education services and those who are specialists in the field of domestic and sexual abuse. With regards the use of restorative justice for victims of sensitive crime types, such as domestic and sexual crime, the Panel has asked that the Commissioner to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent the risk of further harm or re-victimisation.

The Panel has further suggested, through this report, that the Commissioner considers opportunities to increase public understanding of the benefits and availability of restorative services, to encourage those who might benefit to self-refer to these services.

A letter to the Commissioner outlining, in full, the Panel’s findings and recommendations from this review is published below.