The organisations that make up the Forest of Dean Community Safety Partnership (CSP) recognise that in order to reduce crime and ensure our communities feel safe we need to work with offenders to ensure that they do not continue to commit crime and work with victims to ensure the effects of crime on them are reduced.
Some of the ways agencies are working to reduce reoffending are detailed below:
Gloucestershire Probation Trust
Unpaid Work is a sentence available to courts. It is intended as a punishment and also as a means by which offenders can make amends to the community for the harm they have caused. The scheme is known as Community Payback .
For more information visit www.glosprobation.org.uk
Restorative Justice is a process where all the people involved in a specific incident come together to jointly decide how to deal with what happened. It can be used to deal with various incidents ranging from neighbour disputes to grave and serious crimes.
This approach gives the harmed the opportunity to tell the person who caused harm, their thoughts and feelings about what happened as well as an opportunity for them to ask any questions that they have and agree what can be done to make things better for them personally eg an explanation or direct voluntary work.
Evidence suggests this approach helps those harmed to feel they have had their say, reduces their fear of crime and move on from what happened.
The process gives the person who caused the harm an opportunity to listen to the person they have harmed which can help them to understand how their actions have affected others as well as helping them to address their feelings of guilt and remorse for what they have done.
For more information please visit www.restorativegloucestershire.co.uk
Community Orientated Policing (COP) and Restorative Justice (RJ) present alternative methods for police officers to deal with appropriate offences without the necessity to arrest persons, regardless of either the offence or individual circumstances. Officers are able to use their discretion, allowing them to consider the wishes of victims and provide a disposal proportionate to the circumstances. The Constabulary's Values Based Decision making Model (VBDMM) provides officers with a framework to consider available information and make an appropriate decision.
COP and RJ are two separate and distinct processes, with the most obvious difference being the requirement for a structured conversation between the persons involved to make an RJ disposal possible. RJ requires the cooperation of both parties and where it has been used the long term benefits of the resolution cannot be understated – for both the harmed and the harmer. A COP resolution may involve a simple apology or may require some other restitution to put right the harm that has been caused. http://www.gloucestershire.police.uk
A national charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected across England and Wales. Also act as a national voice for victims and witnesses and campaign for change and run the Witness Service in every criminal court. http://www.victimsupport.org.uk