A BRAND NEW website launched today by Ron Hogg will help victims to come to terms with the crime or anti-social behaviour that they have suffered. The new Restorative Hub provides safe and informed opportunities for victims to seek the answers they often require to help them move on. It provides advice for victims about finding the support that they need, and it contains advice for restorative justice facilitators.

It also includes a number of videos in which people who have benefitted from restorative justice talk about their experiences. Restorative justice benefits the victim, helping them to understand why the crime happened to them by having a dialogue with their offender.

Victims can either communicate through a face-to-face meeting with support from a facilitator; or if they want answers but do not want to meet their offender, they can communicate through an intermediary. In County Durham and Darlington over 50 volunteers have already been trained to facilitate restorative justice conferences – one of the highest numbers in the country.

Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, said ‘whilst this is not the right approach in all cases, the restorative process can really help some victims to cope and recover from the impact of the crime’. He added ’research shows that offenders who have been made aware of the consequences of their actions can be motivated to address their offending behaviour and not to offend again.’

Ron Hogg is giving very high priority to putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, following his re-election. He has changed his job title to Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner to reflect that priority.

Residents can access the new Restorative Hub website at www.restorativehub.org.uk