CRIMINALS and their victims will be brought face to face by Cheshire police who have launched 14 ‘restorative justice’ projects.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan believes the projects will help cut reoffending and help victims come to terms with what happened to them.
He was speaking at Cheshire Police headquarters in Winsford to supporters of restorative justice and guests who included former Beirut hostage Terry Waite.
Rudheath has been chosen as one of the pilot project areas following a string of minor assaults and criminal damage.
A briefing paper by the police said: ‘This area has one of the highest crime rates in Vale Royal, the majority of offences being anti-social behaviour, low level assaults and minor offences of damage.
‘The offenders generally live in the community that they offend and are known to their victims. This has the effect of putting victims and their friends and neighbours in fear of further offending.’
Speakers at Wednesday’s launch also included Sir Charles Pollard, former chief constable of Thames Valley Police and a leading proponent of restorative justice, and Tom Winstone who has pioneered similar projects in Belfast.
Victims and criminals spoke about the impact face-to-face meetings had had on them.
Mr Shewan said there was lots of evidence to show that restorative justice could have a dramatic effect on cutting crime and that it helped victims recover from their trauma.