Restorative Justice

rj logo

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is launching a new fund to support Restorative Justice projects in the West Midlands.  

Grants totalling £375,000 will be available to organisations who work with victims, enabling them, if they want to face their offender, to explain how the crime has affected them. Restorative Justice (RJ) also gives ex-offenders the opportunity to make amends for their crimes and repair the harm they have done - by apologising, returning stolen money, or undertaking community service.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "Restorative Justice can make a massive difference to victims of crime. Although you can never truly turn back the clock when a crime has occurred, Restorative Justice can go a long way to helping victims come to terms with what has happened and challenges offenders to rethink their behaviour. Such meetings only happen when they are requested by the victim and they are deemed safe to go ahead.

"Across the West Midlands we already have some excellent Restorative Justice groups who help facilitate the process. This new funding will help even more victims to access this support so that they can hopefully obtain closure and move on with their lives."

Restorative Justice has been funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner since 2013 when funding was transferred over from the Ministry of Justice.

The initiative often involves a conference, where a victim meets their offender face to face. Sometimes, when a face to face meeting is not the best way forward, the victim and offender will communicate via letters, recorded interviews or video instead.

Before a meeting can take place:

• The offender must accept responsibility for the crime.

• Both the victim and the offender must be willing to participate.

• An RJ facilitator must decide it is safe for both the victim and offender to be involved in the process.

Midland Heart has already run a pilot RJ project, thanks to a previous grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner. As a result, the housing and care association has been able to offer support to a number of its residents and, since the introduction of the initiative, the association has seen a significant drop in low level crime such as anti-social behaviour.

Nigel Collumbell, Head of Neighbourhoods at Midland Heart said: "The Restorative Justice Project has been a great opportunity to work with our partners to resolve issues of low-level crime and antisocial behaviour much earlier on, preventing neighbours from becoming embroiled in bigger conflicts. 

"We would highly recommend this approach to others as it fosters better community relations and changes the way neighbours interact with each other. This is a great example of the added value that housing associations can bring."

Restorative Justice has been funded by the West Midlands Police and Police and Crime Commissioner since 2013 when funding was transferred over from the Ministry of Justice.

  • In 2013-14, £188,000 was awarded to a number of organisations to carry out RJ and WMP received £60,000 to roll out RJ training across all LPUs and as a result RJ takes place across the West Midlands.
  • 2014-15, the PCC awarded £65,000 funding for a 6 month pilot in Birmingham.   Funding was allocated to West Midlands Police (WMP) and Midland Heart (MH) who have been working in collaboration in order to develop an effective model of delivery that maximises the benefits provided by restorative justice.
  • For 2015-16 the Police and Crime Commissioner has been allocated £375,000 funding by the Ministry of Justice to commission victim services, including restorative justice, with the budget set on a population based formula. A maximum of £25,000 per organisation is available although higher amounts may be awarded in exceptional circumstances. Services commissioned by the PCC will form part of a complex and varied network of support that exists for victims across the West Midlands, funded by various other organisations as well as through charitable donation.

The Police and Crime Commissioner must ensure funding is spent on:

  • Restorative justice: activities that enables a victim to meet or communicate with their offender to explain the real impact of the crime
  • It can involve both a proactive approach to preventing harm and conflict and/or activities that repair harm where conflicts have already arisen.

The Police and Crime Commissioner will work with all organisations, from the community safety and criminal justice sectors, through to voluntary and community groups, to ensure the needs of victims are met through improved services.

The deadline for funding applications is 5pm December 31st 2015. To apply please complete and submit the application form on the right hand side of the page.