Darlington restorative justice scheme praised for its effectiveness by Ministry of Justice

The Advertiser Series: Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon

A SCHEME to tackle low-level crime and anti-social behaviour through restorative action in Darlington has out-performed other similar initiatives elsewhere in the UK, figures have shown.

The Neighbourhood Resolution scheme run by Darlington Borough Council was launched in November to support people who had experienced crime and give them a chance to meet offenders and discuss the harm caused.

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show that the number of referrals to the scheme in Darlington is three times the national average, while the number of restorative meetings held at twice the national average.

So far 33 people affected by anti-social behaviour have been given the chance to meet the offenders who targeted them, while 60 people in total have been helped to resolve the issues they faced.

The Neighbourhood Resolution service is co-ordinated by Darlington Borough Council and supported by a team of volunteer community facilitators, who work in close partnership with the police and other agencies to support victims.

Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “This is a great result for Darlington.

“We’re committed to working to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the town and this is an important way of helping offenders to see first-hand the damage that their behaviour can cause, ultimately reducing the likelihood that they will re-offend.”

Restorative justice has become a key strategy for the police and local authorities as studies have shown high rates of victim satisfaction and reoffending rates of about five per cent.

Darlington Borough Council’s youth offending service won the first National Award for Restorative Justice in July for its work to use restorative approaches to tackle anti-social behaviour and deal with first time offenders.

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, said: “This excellent initiative reflects, not only an innovative approach to tackling such issues, but reflects a deep seated and ongoing commitment.”

Referrals to Darlington Neighbourhood Resolution can be made by members of the public and community groups, as well as professionals and partner agencies.

For more information or to make a referral contact Andrew Hancock on 01325-346872. Referral forms are available from NRreferrals@darlington.gov.uk

Comments (8)

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3:37pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Homshaw1 says...

All I know from my experiences is that there are too many morons causing mindless damage in Darlington and they seem to have free reign to do so.
All I know from my experiences is that there are too many morons causing mindless damage in Darlington and they seem to have free reign to do so. Homshaw1
  • Score: 19

4:36pm Thu 17 Apr 14

darloboss says...

proof that labour is working
proof that labour is working darloboss
  • Score: -5

4:52pm Thu 17 Apr 14

oliviaden6 says...

They need HARD LABOUR not talking to.
They need HARD LABOUR not talking to. oliviaden6
  • Score: 11

5:10pm Thu 17 Apr 14

gramps427 says...

Congratulations to Andy and his team; a lot of hard work and preparation has gone into setting up this scheme & the results are very encouraging; well done all.
Congratulations to Andy and his team; a lot of hard work and preparation has gone into setting up this scheme & the results are very encouraging; well done all. gramps427
  • Score: 5

7:41pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Border Terrier says...

Darlington, the chav capital of England!
Darlington, the chav capital of England! Border Terrier
  • Score: -6

8:52pm Thu 17 Apr 14

K. Richardson says...

I got halfway through this piece and gave up.
I got halfway through this piece and gave up. K. Richardson
  • Score: 1

11:35pm Thu 17 Apr 14

laughingboy51 says...

I mean what does Bill Dixon know about crime ?

oh! sorry Bill
I mean what does Bill Dixon know about crime ? oh! sorry Bill laughingboy51
  • Score: 6

10:11pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Spy Boy says...

oliviaden6 wrote:
They need HARD LABOUR not talking to.
Quite, but I think that there is merit in this project. Some offenders really just don't consider the damage that they do, or the effect that their thoughtless actions have on people's lives. Some are genuinely misguided and the act of having to meet their victims may have a positive effect. I was certainly no angel when I was a kid, though the mindless vandalism and abuse we see today would never have occurred to us. I've known young people who have made mistakes and have tried their best to put them behind them once they realised what they had done. Best to catch them early.
[quote][p][bold]oliviaden6[/bold] wrote: They need HARD LABOUR not talking to.[/p][/quote]Quite, but I think that there is merit in this project. Some offenders really just don't consider the damage that they do, or the effect that their thoughtless actions have on people's lives. Some are genuinely misguided and the act of having to meet their victims may have a positive effect. I was certainly no angel when I was a kid, though the mindless vandalism and abuse we see today would never have occurred to us. I've known young people who have made mistakes and have tried their best to put them behind them once they realised what they had done. Best to catch them early. Spy Boy
  • Score: 1

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