FORCE FOCUS: Police commissioner David Jamieson's column on new justice scheme for victims - The Solihull Observer

FORCE FOCUS: Police commissioner David Jamieson's column on new justice scheme for victims

Solihull Editorial 20th Oct, 2018   0

I am delighted to announce that if you are a victim of crime in Solihull then you will soon be able to access a brand new service designed to help you get closure and move on with your life.

I’m investing £1.4 million rolling out restorative justice in Solihull and across the wider West Midlands.

It’s a scheme which victims don’t have to take part in, but might wish to. It is designed to give people the chance to quiz an offender and get answers.

The initiative helps victims recover, as well as aiming to change offenders’ behaviour. Crucially though, the process is completely voluntary and will only be offered when the offender has been convicted.

I knew I had to act after hearing the story of a Birmingham woman whose former boyfriend stabbed her eight times whilst she was pregnant.

Janika Cartwright was attacked with a knife as she sat in her car in Birmingham in 2013. Her 9 month old baby was asleep on the back seat. Her heart was pierced by the blade, but miraculously she survived.

She went on to confront her former boyfriend face to face in prison, quizzing him for his actions and getting much needed answers. Why did he do it? How could he do it? The process, she said, helped her come to terms with what happened.

And the evidence points to similar experiences for others. A government research programme concluded that eighty five percent of victims who took part in restorative justice were satisfied with the process. It also found that the scheme was good value for money as it reduced the frequency of reoffending. It found that for every £1 spent on restorative justice the criminal justice system saved £9.

After seeing that evidence, and hearing stories like Janika’s, I knew I had an easy decision to make. Now was the time to offer restorative justice to all victims of crime right across the West Midlands.

Hopefully you are not a victim of crime. Hopefully you never will be. But rest assured that if you are and if you want to confront the perpetrator to get the answers you deserve then, so long as he or she agrees to take part, you will soon be able to do just that.

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner


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