Youth Offending Service

Restorative justice

Restorative justice is when all those who have been affected by a conflict or harm, come together to discuss what can be done to repair the harm caused.

The meeting is a formally structured process that gives all participants the opportunity to tell their stories and talk about how they and others have been affected. Everyone gets the opportunity to be heard, to be listened to and work together to find solutions to the harm.

The meeting allows a victim and an offender to safely meet face to face and to ask each other questions. Together they negotiate how to put things right. It provides the victim with the opportunity to tell the offender what impact the offence has had on them.

It also gives the offender the opportunity to hear the victim’s point of view and begin to understand the effects of their behaviour. It offers possibilities for acceptance of responsibility and apology. Many victims as well as offenders have found Restorative meetings to be a powerful and positive experience.

What restorative justice officers do:

  • contact all victims of youth crime once the offender has admitted the offence and been referred to Youth Offending Service
  • work with young offenders to raise their awareness of the impact of their offending on their victims
  • keep victims updated with young people’s progress on their orders
  • offer a range of options to victims and offenders to attempt to repair the harm caused.

Why victims and offenders should take part:

  • it puts key decisions into the hands of those most affected by crime
  • victims are involved in the process and come out of it satisfied
  • offenders understand how their actions have affected other people and take responsibility for their actions
  • victim and Offender both gain a sense of closure and are reintegrated into the community.

What the meeting involves:

  • safely ask your questions and receive clarification
  • receive the offender’s apology for the harm they have caused you
  • focus on reasons and causes rather than on blame and punishment
  • safely tell the offender how you have been affected.

A restorative meeting will:

  • give an offender may be feeling guilty for their behaviour and would like the opportunity to apologise to the victim
  • give an offender the chance to safely explain to the victim how and why they behaved the way they did
  • help the victim see an offender as a real person who has made a mistake and wants to change.

Lots of people do not re-offend after they have met with their victim. This may be because meeting them has a big impact – one that will be thought about if considering committing another crime.

Our responsibility to you

Taking part in Restorative Justice is completely voluntary. We will respect your decision about whether or not you want to participate. We will not allow for you to meet if we do not think both parties are ready.

We will:

  • respect your views
  • ensure confidentiality
  • provide a safe environment for the meeting.

We will not:

  • put any pressure on you to meet with the offender/victim if you do not wish to do so.

Peterborough's youth offending team is a multi-agency partnership with the council, Police, Probation and health services in accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1988.

The aim of the team is to help prevent young people aged 10-17 from offending. by providing the following statutory services to young offenders, families, courts,victims and the people of Peterborough:

  • the provision of persons to act as appropriate adults to safeguard
    the interests of children and young people detained or questioned by police officers 
  • liaison with the police and other agencies to divert young people from prosecution where appropriate and offer alternative prevention programmes if necessary
  • the assessment of children and young people who have committed offences, and together with other agencies the development of plans and interventions to meet the assessed needs. This includes the statutory supervision of those subject to Pre-Court Disposals and Court Orders both in the community and in custody
  • the provision of support for children and young persons remanded to youth detention accommodation, remanded to local authority accommodation, or subject to bail support programmes while awaiting trial or sentenc
  • the contact with all victims of youth crime, to update them with the outcome and involve them in decisions regarding reparative and restorative work that the young offender can complete keeping in line with the Victim Code of Practice
  • the provision of reports or other information required by courts in criminal proceedings against children and young persons
  • the provision of voluntary parenting and family support, and the supervision of parents subject to statutory Parenting Orders.

The team provides services for young offenders aged 10 to 17, their families and victim support. If you would like to get in touch with the Youth Offending team, please contact 01733 864210 or 864211, or you may email youthoffendingservice@peterborough.gov.uk.