Increased use of restorative justice set for West Lindsey

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.

Criminals look set to see more of their victims in the near future.

Lincolnshire Police is to extend its use of “Restorative Justice” which involves both offender and victim meeting up to learn about each other’s experiences.

“Restorative justice provides an offender the first chance to look into the eyes of their victim and see the effect of their behaviour, their lawlessness,” police commissioner Alan Hardwick told West Lindsey District Council.

“Lots of people who become victims believe they are being targeted. They think the offender has watched them so that is sometimes as bad as the crime that has happened to them. A friend spent 18-months stuck inside his house, he thought he was being targeted but it was just one of those things. After 18 months can go on with his life.”

“Restorative Justice has had a bad reputation but it works. More than 90% of victims and more than 90% of perpetrators say they have benefitted,” said police commissioner Alan Hardwick.

However, Coun Geoff Wiseman said this may be ‘too soft’ a way dealing with offenders.

“They may look at their victims and think they have got away with it,” he said.

But Insp Outen said restorative justice and conferencing would only be used at low-level crime and not for persistent repeat offenders.

It would not be for those in a “store trolley dash but rather the young child who stole a Mars bar.”