On Wednesday 18 November Police & Crime Commissioner John Dwyer attended the national Restorative Justice Council to receive the Restorative Justice Quality Mark and accreditation on behalf of Cheshire Restorative Justice and Mediation Hub.
The Quality Mark is given to those who can demonstrate they meet the service standards, which are set out by the Restorative Justice Council to ensure quality of provision and participant safety in the restorative process.
The hub, provided for through funding from the Commissioner, is testament to a huge amount of work coordinated across multiple agencies including Victim Support, Cheshire Constabulary, youth offending teams and the National Probation Service. Since May this year all agencies have been working in partnership to achieve the quality mark status; this culminated with today’s award.
Commenting on the award, Commissioner John Dwyer said: “This award is a great achievement for all partners involved in the Hub.
‘I was delighted to receive this award which is a reflection of the hard work put in by Kyla Hall and Julie Blaylock. As a consequence the Cheshire Constabulary now has an approach to restorative justice which is recognized at national level by the Restorative Justice Council as being of a high standard.
"There can be no doubt that restorative justice does help to reduce re-offending whilst at the same time assists victims to have closure on their distressing experiences. My investment in this approach is well worth while and I believe, in the longer term, will help to reduce demand on the police service."
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “The Restorative Justice Council has recently assessed our approach to Restorative Justice and we’re pleased to say that we have all been awarded the kite-mark.
“Staff from all the agencies involved worked hard to achieve this and can be proud that, thanks to their dedication, we are empowering victims to meet their offenders in a way that they are comfortable with.
"We can demonstrate that we are using the Restorative Justice process appropriately and effectively, meaning victims in Cheshire are seeing a crime dealt with in a way of their choosing that also influences future behaviour by the offender.
“When used correctly it is a very strong tool to help victims gain closure and help offenders understand the effect their crime has on the victim, deterring them from further offences. The quality mark shows that we are using Restorative Justice effectively.”
John Dwyer concluded: “I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard in achieving this. The accreditation and quality mark just goes to show what can be accomplished through working together towards a single goal – better outcomes for victims.”