Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
  Call Services for Bedfordshire on 0800 0282 887
What is restorative justice?

Restorative justice enables victims to meet or communicate with their offender to explain the real impact of their actions.
It gives someone affected by crime the chance to have their say, explain what the effect was on them and to seek a direct explanation from the offender about what they did.

Through this the offender can begin to understand the effect of their behaviour and make amends. Restorative justice does not replace the criminal justice system, but helps to deal with the emotions and stress caused by crime, so the person harmed can move on with their lives.

If you’ve been a victim of a crime it’s likely to have been a deeply upsetting and unsettling experience. For many people restorative justice helps to get closure after a traumatic time. People who have participated in restorative justice
have reported that it has been an empowering experience which allowed them to feel more in control of what happened to them.

How does it work?

Restorative justice can only take place in cases where someone has admitted guilt.
An offender does not have to meet with their victim – both sides have to agree that they would like to meet for restorative justice to go ahead.

Restorative justice doesn’t have to take place straight after a court case, it is available any time you’re ready.

The first step
A trained facilitator will meet with you to talk through what has happened. They will seek to understand the detail of what happened
and the impact it has had on you. If you feel that you are willing to meet with the offender, your facilitator can arrange this.
If the offender pleads guilty, you can arrange to meet quite quickly thereafter, although the timing is up to you.

The facilitator will talk to the offender about what has happened and find out about the offender’s understanding of the harm they
caused. Your facilitator will ask the offender what they could do to make things better. The offender will then be asked if they would
like the opportunity to meet you or have some other type of communication with you.

The conference

If you, the offender and your facilitator agree that it’s right to arrange a meeting then a conference can go ahead. If another type of communication is more suitable your facilitator will help with this. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you to support you and the offender can do the same.
The meeting will be guided by your facilitator. It will be held in a neutral, safe place and usually lasts about an hour and a half. During the meeting everyone will get to have their say about what happened.

Your facilitator

Your facilitator will be a specialist in providing restorative justice and will have been trained in supporting people affected by crime.
They provide a completely confidential and impartial service. They are there to support you and to make the experience of restorative justice as positive as possible for everyone involved.

How restorative justice can help you?

For some people who have been affected by crime, it helps to explore why the crime happened. Evidence shows that most people who take part in a restorative justice process, come away feeling satisfied because it has allowed them to have their say.

It helps people to move on and feel less fearful of crime in the future, as well as:

  • Have your say.
  • Explain to the person who harmed you what impact their behaviour has had on your life.
  • Get some answers to any questions you may have about what happened.
  • Help you get the closure you need to overcome the impact of the harm you have experienced.

It also helps:

  • Prevent the same thing happening to someone else.
  • Offenders understand the consequences of their actions.

Here is a really useful video which explains the positive impact of restorative justice  created by the Restorative Justice Council entitled ‘The Meeting’, where a rape victim Joanne meets her attacker Darren. She explains he was undertaking victim empathy work in prison, but she felt she needed to tell him how she felt. The judge also said in court he had ruined her life and it was really important to her to show Darren he had in fact not ruined it, but she had survived.

How restorative justice helps offenders?

Restorative justice can be helpful for offenders because it enables them to understand the impact their actions have had. It gives them the chance to listen and to answer any questions you might have. They may apologise for what they have done and agree what they might do to make things better. This might include addressing the issues in their life that led them to commit the crime.

Offenders who have taken part in restorative justice have said that the experience helped them to understand how their actions affected others and to enable them to deal with the feelings of guilt or remorse, and to feel that they have done something positive.

How you can access restorative justice?

Victim Care Co-ordinators at the Signpost Hub will talk to you about facilitating restorative justice.

Telephone: 0800 282887


Local Listings
Change Ur Life 1. Change Ur Life
Change Ur Life
Established in 2020, Change Ur Life strongly believes that everyone deserves to live a life filled with happiness, contentment and security. Our team have personally worked in this field for several years, supporting a large number of victims and as a result, have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. It is for this reason that we have set up services that support victims of domestic abuse in their own homes and the community, with our vision of expanding services to victims of all crimes. We support everyone over the age of 17 years old, no matter what their gender, race or beliefs are, as we strongly believe that no individual should be subject to suffering in silence, so offer a friendly and non-judgemental approach with the mission to make a difference.
Paws Protect 2. Paws Protect
Paws Protect
Domestic violence and pets can make for an unsafe situation, which is why we offer our Paws Protect cat fostering service. Through a network of cat fosterers, the service provides a retreat for pets of those going into a refuge until the owner has a safe place to live and they can be reunited.

All information between the cat owner and foster carer is kept confidential. Our fosterers do not know the identity or whereabouts of the cat owner and vice versa, ensuring complete anonymity.

While it is not possible for the owner to visit their cat while it is being fostered, the Paws Protect team visit the fosterer on a regular basis and provide monthly updates to the owner to give them peace of mind.

Paws Protect covers all the costs of fostering for domestic violence – including cat food, feeding bowls, beds, vaccinations etc so owners know their pet is receiving the best care.
Supporting Victims of Crime
National Listings
Barnardo's Barnardo's
Welcome to Boloh, Barnardo’s COVID-19 helpline and webchat for those 11+

Call us on 0800 1512605 or chat to us online

Are you a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic child, young person, parent or carer, affected by Covid-19? You can speak to us about your worries, problems and stresses during this time, and we can provide emotional support, practical advice and signposting to other organisations who can provide further help. 

If you’re a professional, you can also contact us to discuss how to support a child or young person they are working with.
Crimestoppers Crimestoppers
Crimestoppers is an independent charity helping police locate criminals and solve crimes through anonymous reporting. The site also provides crime prevention advice for a number of crimes.
Stonewall Housing Stonewall Housing
Stonewall Housing
We give advice about different housing related issues to hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people every year. We understand what you, or your friends, might be experiencing. So if you need advice, contact us. You can phone us, or you can come along to one of our drop-in surgeries. Some of the housing issues we’ve helped LGBT+ people with include:

if you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
if your relationship with your family has broken down because of your sexual orientation or gender identity;
if you’ve been victimised or harassed;
if you need to escape from domestic abuse;
if you need advice about a dispute with your landlord;
if you need advice with your housing benefits.
The Coroners' Courts Support Service (CCSS) The Coroners' Courts Support Service (CCSS)
The Coroners' Courts Support Service (CCSS)
The Coroners’ Courts Support Service (CCSS) is
an independent charity founded in 2003. Trained
volunteers offer free, confidential, emotional support
and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and
others attending an Inquest at some of the Coroners’
Courts in England. We can signpost people to other
appropriate organisations and prior to the Inquest
we can give you support and information via our
Telephone Helpline.
There are no national support services for this in our directory

If you are unsure whether you have been a victim of crime, please talk to one of our advisors on 0800 0282 887