Crime victims get say on offenders

Clive Grunshaw
Clive Grunshaw

Victims of crime are set to be given a say in how offenders are dealt with after Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner unveiled final plans for the county’s Community Remedy.

The move means offenders who commit certain types of low-level crime or anti-social behaviour could be asked to apologise to their victim, undertake a course to address their behaviour or repair the damage they’ve caused – giving them an opportunity to understand the full impact of their actions.

Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “One of my key commitments is to empower victims. I don’t want them to feel isolated from the process of dealing with offenders – I want them to have the opportunity to be part of it, and that is what the Community Remedy will give them.

The following six options have been agreed with the county’s Chief Constable for use in Lancashire:

• Offender to apologise to the victim, either face-to-face or through a letter.

• Offender to meet the victim face-to-face through a Restorative Justice process, which gives the victim the opportunity to explain the impact the crime has had on them.

• Offender participates in a structured activity or course to address offending behaviour, issues such as substance abuse and to reduce the likelihood of reoffending. Where the offender is a young person, parental involvement may also be an option.

• Compensation to be paid to victim by offender.

• Offender to undertake reparation work directly to the victim to repair any damage caused.

• Offender to carry out reparation work in the community, which could include a community project suggested by the victim.