Restorative Justice (RJ) enables victims to meet or communicate with their offender to explain the real impact of the crime.
Trained community volunteers and/or professionals support victims and offenders who express a willingness to take part in the RJ process to resolve a range of offences, from low level community nuisance to serious crime which results in a custodial sentence for the offender.
Stockport ‘SoRT-IT’ (solve, resolve and talk-it-through) delivers a Neighbourhood RJ service which successfully addresses neighbour dispute and victim/offender cases with a victim satisfaction rate of over 88%.
Chief Inspector Leon Jacob from Greater Manchester Police says: “The provision of Restorative Justice (RJ) services in Stockport is essential in order to offer victims of crime and anti-social behaviour a ‘voice’. The local ‘SoRT-IT’ service has supported over 100 local victims since October 2013 by training community volunteers to facilitate face to face meetings between offenders and victims. The service offers victims the opportunity to ‘have their say’ in a safe, controlled environment which can reduce the fear of crime and give victims a valuable sense of satisfaction.”
Councillor Shan Alexander, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Safe and Resilient Communities, says: “Stockport is committed to engage with victims and offenders in the community, which can help to improve community cohesion and break the cycle of offending. Local RJ services also offer volunteering opportunities which can enhance the skills, qualifications and experience of local people.”
“I was a little dubious as a previous attempt at RJ with another problem had failed. I could not be happier with the way this went. The problem was practically sorted after the preliminary visit and the meeting at the Church just sealed it.”
“I would recommend this process to anyone else experiencing similar problems. My expectations were low going into the [face to face] meeting and I was really nervous. During the [meeting] I had my fair chance to speak and be listened to.”
“I felt the facilitators [volunteers] did a very good job, very professional.”
If you are interested in becoming involved in SoRT-IT, contact the SoRT-IT team. Email: SoRT-IT@stockport.gov.uk or telephone 0161 218 1758 or 0161 218 1739.
For more information, visit the Criminal Justice in Stockport page.
For more information on support for victims, visit the Greater Manchester Victims Services website.