South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner speaks of 'humbling experience' meeting restorative justice victims

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As part of a virtual meeting, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner spoke to murder and abuse victims which have ‘benefited’ from restorative justice.

The meeting which formed part of Restorative Justice Week, an awareness campaign to help people learn more about the effects of victims meeting the perpetrators who have been involved in their crimes.

Dr Alan Billings spoke to victims of murder, abuse and road traffic accidents who have benefited from the restorative justice service he funds.

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Restorative justice is an approach to justice, where victims and the offender meet alongside community representatives.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings.South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings.

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner met with those who have received help from meeting those who have committed crimes against them and listened to their reasons for taking part in the process.

Dr Billings said: “Whilst not for everyone, restorative justice can be a surprisingly positive experience for all involved.

"This week, I have spoken to the sister of a murder victim, a mother who lost her teenage son in a road traffic collision and a young man who was abused by members of his own family as a child.

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“They have all benefited in different ways either from speaking face-to face with the people involved in harming them or by exchanging letters.

"This has enabled them to ask questions that have disturbed them since the crimes were committed against them or their family member.

"It has helped some to go further in the grieving process and in some cases to find healing in ways they did not imagine they could.

“The restorative justice programme is not an easy path to take for either party. It takes great courage for a victim to meet with the person who has caused them so much pain.

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“This week will have a profound effect on me, I have learnt a great deal from the victims who have kindly agreed to speak to me and I thank them for sharing their experiences with me.

"This has been an informative and humbling week.”

For more information about restorative justice and to hear stories from those who have taken part please visit the Restorative South Yorkshire website.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.