The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a new £1.3m support programme led by victims of crime, and for victims of crime, to cut reoffending rates and help victims recover and move on with their lives.
Londoners who have been affected by crime will have the chance to meet their offender if they wish, in an approach which has already proved successful in helping victims to recover from their ordeal and also reduced reoffending rates.
The first ever Pan-London Restorative Justice programme is the UK’s single biggest restorative justice commission and will offer access at every stage of the criminal justice system. The approach holds offenders to account for what they have done, helping them understand the impact of their crime and make amends to their victims.
The move follows a poll conducted by Ipsos MORI during March/April 2015 which found that 46 per cent of victims would want to meet their offender, however current service access across London is inconsistent. This new London-wide programme will complement and enhance existing services, filling gaps in provision and operating alongside criminal justice procedures.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) has appointed Restore: London, a non- profit consortium led by social business Catch22, to develop the London-wide initiative. Together with key partners, the consortium aims to raise awareness of restorative justice among victims and offenders, improve access to services and victim satisfaction, increase referral speed and develop information-sharing between agencies. They will develop the programme in detail over the coming months.