New commissioner Simmonds backs restorative justice

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New Police & Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has revealed he want to put victims of crime at the centre of the police system.

Speaking at a conference on restorative justice yesterday in Northamptonshire, Mr Simmonds said that this is “a critical subject for all our communities”.

He said, “As Police and Crime Commissioner I want to be a champion and voice for those whose lives are often changed forever in a moment due to crime.

“I want the criminal justice system to put victims’ needs front and centre. Therefore with this very clear belief and determination my first action as Police and Crime Commissioner, on my very first day in Office was to establish Northamptonshire’s first ‘Victims’ Commission’.”

He said the Northamptonshire Victims’ Commission will be chaired by a nationally recognised and respected voice and will look across the available services in the county and “champion” restorative justice approaches.

He said: “The level of victimisation in our county is far too high. I don’t believe that we focus enough on victims or see their needs as paramount. “I want to change this, giving people a voice, designing services around what they want, learning from their experiences and changing what we do as a result.

“I am passionate that we all pull together to create a victim-centred approach in Northamptonshire.

“Despite the good intentions of those working in our various systems, agencies still too often end up just ‘processing’ cases, delivering to the requirements of the system, managing offenders, servicing legal processes, which taken together can and in my opinion does as a consequence see the victim become less than important.

Click Adam Simmonds to watch the full speech on YouTube.