Restorative justice on way

Rotary President Robert Wright, Philip Cawley (restorative justice coordinator) and Rotarian Shaun McNeil.
Rotary President Robert Wright, Philip Cawley (restorative justice coordinator) and Rotarian Shaun McNeil.

Criminals in Fleetwood will soon come face to face with their victims as part of a new police scheme being rolled out across the county.

Fleetwood Rotarians were one of the first groups to hear about the new restorative justice initiative when they were given a talk by Phil Cawley, the restorative justice coordinator for West Lancashire.

Mr Cawley explained the function of the new initiative, which is being introduced in a bid to reduce reoffending.

Restorative justice brings together offenders, victims and members of the community in face-to-face meetings to effectively tackle crime, 
anti-social behaviour and 
conflict.

Mr Cawley told Rotarians: “The panel we are setting up will enable citizens and communities to work together to tackle problems. However it is not a replacement for the Criminal Justice System and the two should be seen as complementing one another.”

The system enables victims to ‘feel more empowered by taking back some control and speaking directly to the 
offender about their motives for committing the crime’.

Offenders will be told first-hand how their actions affected their victim.

The principle aim of the scheme is to put right the harm done by anyone who commits anti social behaviour and low level crimes.

Now a panel is to be formed which will have a number of volunteers who will be specifically trained to help deliver restorative justice in the area.