Posted: Tuesday 15th December 2015
I’ve been meeting with partners to discuss the importance of restorative justice. Restorative justice gives victims the opportunity to, when they’re ready and on their own terms; meet with the person who committed a crime against them. It supports the victim in giving them the opportunity to tell the offender how the crime has affected them and how the offender could make amends, whether that’s writing a letter of apology, repairing damage or doing community work. The impact of a restorative justice conference on an offender, where they have to face the consequences of their actions, can also be incredibly powerful in helping them to change their future behaviour. I would encourage anyone that feels that they would benefit from this service to visit lighthousevictimcare.org
One of my priorities, and a crime where restorative justice approaches can be particularly effective when speaking with offenders, is burglary. Local people have told me that burglary is a priority to them and that’s why it’s a priority in my Police and Crime Plan. It would be lovely to live in a world where we didn’t have to doubt ourselves as to whether or not we’ve locked the back door or shut that bedroom window. However, unfortunately there is one too many individuals who are constantly looking for the opportunity to exploit our forgetfulness and take advantage of obviously empty homes during the darker nights. The good news is that the number of burglaries across Avon and Somerset is falling and if we as residents can do our bit to light up, lock up and turn the key, we could see that reduce by a further 25%. I will continue to make sure the police are doing their bit in tackling burglary and the fear of burglary.
Making the roads safer is another focus for myself and the Constabulary at this time of year and the annual Operation Tonic, drink and drug driving campaign is well underway. Over the festive period, many of us will be having fun, hosting gatherings and socialising with family and friends. Driving under the influence of drink and drugs is not only a crime, it’s socially and morally unacceptable and can have devastating consequences for all those involved. I truly believe that the majority of law-abiding people support the police in doing all we can to bring offenders to justice, keeping the road safe not only at this time of the year but all year round. This year we have the support of the ‘Think Amy’ charity who aim to educate all motorists, particularly young and new drivers. The charity was set up following the tragic death of 13-year old Amy who was killed by two dangerous drivers who were racing each other on our roads. I would therefore like to thank Jane Hofmeister, Amy’s mother and the founder of Think Amy for all her support.