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Crime victims can choose to confront criminals

Bringing criminals and their victims face-to-face needs to be at the heart of a local criminal justice system, according to Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds.

The system, known as restorative justice, is being piloted in Corby. It holds offenders to account, helps them understand the real impact of what they’ve done, take responsibility and often make amends.

'The victim can choose whether or not to face the offender,’ said Mr Simmonds.

"The victim is rarely in a court unless giving evidence as a witness. That victim never has an opportunity to confront an attacker or a burglar. I think that’s poor. These days I don’t think they should go off without seeing the victim.

"The victim can expel anger, explain what has happened and in many cases I’ve seen offenders completely changed by coming face to face with the person they hurt."

– Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire's Police and Crime Commissioner