VICTIMS of crime could get the chance to face the criminals responsible in a new scheme being launched by West Midlands Police.

Due to be discussed at this week’s (January 22) Strategic Policing and Crime Board (SPCB), the force’s new ‘Restorative Justice Service’ aims to give the victims of crime “the opportunity to tell offenders the real impact of their crime, get answers to their questions and ultimately get an apology.”

A report continues: “Restorative justice holds offenders to account for what they have done.

“It helps them understand the real impact, take responsibility, and make amends, which in turn helps the victim to cope and recover from the crime.”

The service will be run through provider Remedi and is set to be launched on February 1.

Remedi was first established in 1996 in Sheffield, and currently runs restorative justice services in several areas across the country including South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Humberside, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Cumbria and Cheshire.

The service, papers from the board note, is accessible to all victims, regardless of the type of crime committed.

“The nature of the offence does not, in isolation, preclude someone from engaging,” it says.

“All restorative processes are subject to a trained facilitator being assured of the motive behind the desire, the willingness and free informed consent of the victim to take part and a robust assessment to ensure there is no further risk of re-victimisation.

“Individuals are given sufficient information on what Restorative Justice is and its potential benefits to enable them to make a free and informed choice about whether they would like to engage in the process.

“The expectations of all potential participants are managed to minimise the risk of further harm being caused.”

Actions available through the restorative justice scheme range from face to face meetings to the exchanging of letters, and is undertaken entirely at the victim’s discretion, the papers continue.

The SPCB will discuss the new service with both the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable at the meeting.