29 May 2008
Victims of crime are being urged to come forward to meet the offenders in a bid to cut levels of youth disorder even further in the local area.
The local Youth Offending Service (YOS), based in Blackwood, are appealing for victims of juvenile crime to take advantage of their restorative justice approach that gives them the chance to confront offenders and help prevent them reoffending.
In all cases where a crime has been committed by a youth, the YOS will automatically contact the identified victim to offer their services. At this point, the victim can agree to meet with the YOS victim liaison officer to discuss the opportunities and information available to them.
YOS Operational Manager Michaela Rogers said, "It is our aim to promote and inform victims of youth crime about the service we provide and to encourage more victims to engage with our team and participate in our services. This restorative justice approach, whilst benefitting the victim, also plays a significant role in highlighting to young people the impact of their actions on the victims of their crimes.
Victim engagement is at the centre of the Youth Offending Services' work and our commitment to increase our current levels of participation is a priority."
Restorative justice aims to empower the victim, allowing them to get answers to questions that they may have, and at enlightening the youth, so that he/she fully understands the effects of their crimes, and thus make amends through showing remorse, or by carrying out good work in the community.
There are a number of options available to victims, including:
- Meeting the offender at a restorative conference
- Having your views represented at a conference by a YOS worker
- Nominating work for the offender to do for the good of the community, for example, gardening
- Receiving a letter of explanation
Similar programmes have suggested that such approaches can really help reduce post traumatic stress amongst victims and aid in motivating offenders to turn away from a life of crime.
For further information, contact the Blackwood based YOS team on 01495 235623.
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