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Wigan Council receives Restorative Service Quality Mark
Thursday 10th October, 2013

Restorative justice trailblazers Wigan Council are delighted to announce that they are one of the first organisations in the UK to receive the Restorative Justice Council’s Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM).

Restorative processes bring those harmed by crime or conflict into communication with those responsible for the harm, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. Restorative processes are being increasingly used in a wide range of settings including criminal justice, schools, care homes, local authorities, prisons and communities.

The RSQM requires organisations to show that they are consistently meeting six Restorative Service Standards. Following a rigorous assessment process, Wigan Council’s restorative solutions team have demonstrated that they meet the standards, and will now hold the Restorative Service Quality Mark.

Graham Doubleday, team leader for Wigan restorative solutions team said:

“Wigan Council has offered a restorative service to the Wigan community since 2002. The service offers people affected by youth related crime, and young people responsible for causing harm, the opportunity to engage in a broad range of voluntary restorative interventions. Evidence demonstrates that restorative interventions can support people affected by crime to come to terms with the impact of the offence while offering young people an opportunity to formally apologise for their actions. The approach has a positive impact in reducing the risk of re-offending in the future. The service is extremely sensitive to the needs of victims with all staff fully trained and experienced.”

Superintendent Andrea Jones from Greater Manchester Police, said: "I am extremely proud of the work we have done in Wigan to effectively reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system through our restorative justice processes. This is an excellent example of the seamless partnership approach that we have here in Wigan. We have worked together to make sure that the victim has a voice in the restorative process. The approach of bringing together both the victim and the offender has had a positive impact on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. Not only are the victim and offender involved in this process but also the wider community as we recruit volunteers to be part of the justice panels. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure we deliver the best service possible to the communities who live, visit and work in Wigan."

Cabinet member for Safer Communities at Wigan Council, Councillor Kevin Anderson, said:

“The fact that Wigan restorative solutions team is the first in the country to achieve the quality mark is fantastic news and a great achievement for the team. I’d like to thank them for their hard work in achieving this accreditation.”

Jemma Jewkes, the RJC’s head of standards and professional services, said: “Earlier this year, the Restorative Justice Council put out a call for services to take part in a test phase of the Restorative Service Quality Mark. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Wigan Council were one of the organisations selected to participate.

“All the organisations taking part understand the importance of quality – delivering to national standards ensures that people can feel safe and confident about the service they are receiving. They have all worked incredibly hard, and we’re very proud of the successful applicants.

“It’s been a real privilege to visit all of the test sites and see first-hand some of the amazing work that’s being done.”

Wigan restorative solutions team received their award from HRH The Princess Royal at the Restorative Justice Council’s Annual General Meeting last Wednesday 2 October. Following the successful completion of the test phase, the Restorative Service Quality Mark is expected to be launched nationally later in 2013

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