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News Report Page 11 of 12
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New service to support victims through restorative justice

VICTIMS of crime will now have greater opportunity to get answers from offenders thanks to a new partnership between Merseyside's Police Commissioner and a leading restorative justice organisation.

Following a competitive tendering process, Jane Kennedy and Deputy PCC, Cllr Emily Spurrell, have chosen not for profit community interest company Restorative Solutions to lead on delivering victim led restorative justice services, across Merseyside, for the next 9 months.

The partnership will see a dedicated restorative justice practioner based within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner working to raise awareness of the service, ensuring victims in Merseyside have the chance to come face to face with offenders and make them realise the impact of their actions.

Restorative justice brings victims and offenders together to tell 1 another their account of an incident with the aim of putting victims back in control and presenting offenders with the consequences of their actions. Restorative justice is always voluntary and only takes place after both the victim and offender agree and a trained facilitator has assessed the case as suitable. This means a lot of careful preparatory work is required before a victim and offender meet. Victims, and offenders, have the opportunity to withdraw at any point.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Emily Spurrell said:- "I am keen to support any measure that allows the voice of victims to be heard and helps those affected by crime to reach a sense of closure that sometimes cannot be found in sentencing alone. Restorative justice approaches are just 1 of the ways we can do that.  Restorative justice gives victims a voice and the opportunity to get answers. Giving victims the chance to come face to face with those who have committed crimes against them can be really empowering and help people who have been affected by crime to find a positive way forward. It can also have a really significant impact on the offender, forcing them to realise the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for what they have done. Evidence shows that this can reduce reoffending. Restorative Solutions has a really successful track record of working with victims, offenders and criminal justice partners. They lead on restorative justice in many of other areas and they have demonstrated considerable skill when working on existing restorative justice schemes in Merseyside and on initiatives with my office in the past. By working in partnership with them, I hope to increase the use of restorative justice across Merseyside over the next 3 years, helping more people to cope and recover, resolving the harm that has been caused and reducing reoffending."

Restorative Solutions will work closely with Merseyside Police and all the PCC's criminal justice partners to generate greater awareness and use of restorative justice and deliver an effective and consistent service across the entire region.

The 9 month contract, which has potential to be extended for a further 12 months, focuses on 4 key aims; increasing access; working with criminal justice partners to increase the number of restorative justice referrals; improving awareness and understanding of restorative justice and its benefits and delivering a high quality service focussed on the needs of victims and delivered by a trained facilitator.

Executive Chair of Restorative Solutions, Gary Stephenson, said:- "We are confident that Restorative Justice has a place in the Merseyside, an area I am particularly familiar with, and we will work with the Police and Crime Commissioner and her team to develop an effective, safe and inclusive Restorative Justice Service for Merseyside. We both share the ambition of increasing awareness and demand for Restorative Justice in Merseyside."

The service has been funded through the Ministry of Justice's Victims' Services and Restorative Justice grant for 2018/19. Organisations were invited to apply for the service through the Blue Light portal, an E-Tendering solution for all Emergency Services.

Anyone interested in finding out more about restorative justice should send an email or call:- 07377800254

ALevel results improvement in Liverpool

ALevel results in Liverpool have improved, according to provisional figures. Almost 60% of schools and academies with ALevel provision; 16 out of 27; have seen an improvement in their average grade score.

The average grade achieved by students in Liverpool was a grade C - just below the national average grade of C+, while the city bucked the national average for the very top grade, with a small increase of 0.1% of pupils getting an A*, against a fall of 0.3%.

Of particular note was the School Improvement Liverpool Community Languages Project where all 27 students from ethnic minority communities who studied Arabic, Chinese and Polish got A*-C grades, and 67% got A* and A.

Councillor Barbara Murray, Cabinet member for Education, said:- "ALevels are the gold standard of the education system and achieving good grades requires dedication, hard work and commitment. All students who worked so hard to achieve their results deserve the highest praise, along with their teachers and parents and carers for the support they have given them. We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to make sure that all young people achieve their potential. Many of our young people are able to go on to university or college or, if they choose, advanced apprenticeships. Anyone who hasn't done as well as they expected should not be disheartened as there are always alternative options available. We are determined to deliver a highly educated, highly qualified and highly skilled workforce to meet the economic needs of the City."

Warning over Council Tax Scam

RESIDENTS in Liverpool are being urged not to give their bank details over the phone to anyone claiming to be from Liverpool City Council. It comes after a resident was cold called by someone who claimed to be offering a Council Tax Refund and asked to give their bank details. The victim had the presence of mind not to give out the information, and subsequently alerted the City Council. The call is thought to have been routed through a call centre that is based in India. Assistant Mayor, Cllr Jane Corbett, said:- "We never, ever phone people up and ask for their bank details, under any circumstances. It is really important if people receive an unsolicited call out of the blue and are asked to do so they should end the call straight away. They can report it to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, by calling:- 0300 123 2040." At Southport Reporter we have been informed that readers in Sefton have had calls like this, so please do take note that this might not be just focused on Liverpool residents'...

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