West Yorkshire volunteers supporting those affected by crime to be recognised at event (18 Sept 2017)

PCC Mark Burns-Williamson will host the first Restorative Justice Volunteer Recognition Event at the Civic Hall in Leeds this Thursday. (21 Sep)

The event, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, will recognise the dedication and outstanding contribution that Restorative Justice Volunteer Facilitators make to West Yorkshire and to those affected by crime.

The event highlighted how Restorative Justice has developed in West Yorkshire and the impact volunteers have made in ensuring all victims of crime have the opportunity to be involved.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "The over-riding aim of restorative justice is to help victims cope and recover from the harm caused by crime committed against them.

"With my support, each district across West Yorkshire has a service which ensures that victims can request Restorative Justice and have access to trained and skilled practitioners.

"Volunteer practitioners are pivotal to the success of any Restorative Justice service and this event is my opportunity to thank each and every volunteer for the time they give up to ensure that victims have access to this process."

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a voluntary process involving the person who has suffered harm and the person who has caused harm. Trained facilitators work with victims and offenders to talk about what happened, who was affected and how, and what can be done to help repair the harm.

It involves giving victims the opportunity to engage with the person who has committed the crime, when this is possible.

This can involve indirect communication for example letters or phone calls, or direct communication for example meeting face to face with the offender.

The Police and Crime Commissioner funds Restorative Justice across all five districts which is currently delivered by the Community Safety Partnerships until March 2018.

Victims are supported through the restorative justice process by skilled facilitators who make sure the focus is on their needs, and any risks are managed.

Not all victims want to take up such opportunities, and there is no pressure to do so, but many find it helpful in moving on in their lives.

Kate Brooksbank, West Yorkshire's RJ Development Manager added: "West Yorkshire has a history of delivering highly effective Restorative Justice and this event is an opportunity to highlight the impact that Restorative Justice has for those involved.

"It celebrates the work of the volunteers that give their time up to make such an important difference across West Yorkshire."

The event is an opportunity for those that might be interested in future volunteering opportunities in Restorative Justice to find out more.

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