Tag Archives: restorative justice

Is restorative justice appropriate in your case?

Restorative Justice, or ‘RJ’ as it is sometimes known, is a way of holding offenders to account and can be used as an alternative to a caution or conviction, or alongside a sentence.

What happens with Restorative Justice?

restorative justiceRestorative Justice gives a victim the opportunity to meet or communicate with an offender to help the offender understand the impact of the crime.  It can also provide the offender with the chance to make amends.

This may be done in a face to face meeting or by way of a written apology.  Alternatively the offender could make amends to the community rather than to the victim directly.

Communication takes place in a controlled environment, if the meeting is face to face.  A facilitator will also be present. The meeting would centre on the harm caused and ways to repair that harm.

When can Restorative Justice be used?

For any kind of communication to take place the victim must be happy to participate.  The offender will also have to have admitted the offence and be willing to take part.

Gareth Thomas, the former Wales rugby captain, chose to deal with his complaint in this way after he was the victim of a homophobic assault.

The young person involved admitted the offence, and it is being dealt with by way of Restorative Justice rather than via a caution or through Court.

Mr Thomas said he thought that the offender could learn more through Restorative Justice than any other way.

Restorative Justice can also be used when an offender has received a prison sentence.  In another case, Cathryn Walmsley of Bolton was assaulted, the offender pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and a four-year term of detention was imposed.

Mrs Walmsley read a victim impact statement out in court to set out how the offence had affected her. She also said that she would like to sit down with the offender to discuss what he did because she believes that this may give her “closure”.

It may also assist the offender, and it is hoped in these circumstances that it would reduce the likelihood of any future offending.

restorative justice

Does it work?

Research undertaken by the government in a seven-year period found that there was an 85% victim satisfaction rate with the process following the use of restorative justice.  There was a also a reduction in the frequency of re-offending of 14%.

How can we help?

Many decisions relating to whether Restorative Justice is an appropriate alternative to a police caution or prosecution will be made at the point of police interview under caution or shortly afterwards.

We offer free and independent legal advice at the police station or anywhere else where you may be interviewed by the police.

A number of benefits to seeking advice can be found here, but an important benefit is that we will be able to advise you as to whether restorative justice could be available in your case and make representations or negotiate with the police on your behalf.

An example of a case where we have successfully negotiated a restorative justice disposal can be found here.

 You can find your nearest office here.

restorative justice
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:




It’s never too late for free police station advice

restorative justice
Accredited police station representative Rob Lowe

Despite very late contact with his client, accredited police station representative Rob Lowe was still able to provide free police station advice to secure a restorative justice outcome rather than a police caution.

Negotiation with police under legal aid scheme

Rob was called by a client who had already been interview in relation to allegations of affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.  Unfortunately, he had chosen not to seek our free and independent legal advice at that stage.

It appeared that he had made admissions to the assault in this police interview. He had been released under investigation but the police had contacted him some time later as they intended to give him an official police caution to end the matter.

Unfortunately, our client’s work involved him being a frequent visitor to the United States of America.  Understandably he had concerns that a caution might prevent him form getting into the States in the future.  As a result, he was reluctant to accept the caution.  He also raised an issue that he perhaps had not made admissions and had told the police that the complainant was the aggressor.

restorative justiceRob travelled to Sheffield from our Chesterfield office to go to the police station with his client.  This allowed him to speak to the police officer dealing with the case to determine whether a police caution was an appropriate way to deal with the case.  Was the evidence there to support the offence?  Had his client actually admitted the offence?  If there was an admission was a restorative justice option available instead of a police caution?

Having spoken to the officer, Rob concluded that the police officer was acting appropriately by offering a caution.  There was evidence from the complainant and photographs of injuries.  His client had made an admission to an assault, albeit on a limited basis.

Restorative justice outcome negotiated

Instead of simply accepting the caution, Rob was then able to make successful representations that he case be dealt with by way of a restorative justice disposal.  This was agreed by both the client and the complainant in the case.  The outcome simply involved our client keeping away from the complainant.

This outcome meant that our client did not receive a criminal record and does not need to worry about future business trips to America.

Speak to a specialist police station adviser for free

As we have a contract with the government to permit us to provide expert legal advice and representation under the legal aid scheme.  This means that our advice in the police station will always be free of charge to you in the police station.

There are many advantages to seeking advice in the police station and you can read about those here.

Read more about the benefits of instructing our solicitors and litigators here.

You can find your nearest office here.  All of our phone numbers are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to allow you to seek our expert advice when you most need it.

restorative justice
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the form below.




Free Police Station Advice Leads to Restorative Justice Outcome

free police station advice newark crime solicitor
Nottingham and Newark Crime Solicitor Lauren Manuel

Nottingham and Newark crime solicitor Lauren Manuel recently gave free police station advice to a client at Newark police station.  She showed that just because a person may have committed an offence it doesn’t mean that they should be prosecuted at court.

The client had been contacted by the police to voluntarily attend the police station.  The police wanted to speak to her about an allegation of assault.  This was said to have taken place at a seaside amusement park.  The person said to be assaulted was a security guard.

The Allegation

The boyfriend of our client had been causing trouble at the park.  Security staff were trying to throw him out because he was drunk and behaving in a disorderly manner.  Whilst they struggled with him, Lauren’s client rang the police to complain about the way the staff were treating her boyfriend.  It was claimed that she hit one of the security staff on the head with her phone.  As a result of the attack the security guard received an inch long cut to his head.  He needed hospital treatment.

Free Police Station Advice

When the police tell a suspect that they want to speak to them voluntarily this is likely to create the wrong impression.  The conversation is still a police interview.  It will be an interview under caution.  It is likely to be recorded.  The information that the police gain in interview can be used against a suspect in court.

Lauren’s client realised that she was in a potentially serious situation.  She contacted Lauren to tell her about the interview and make arrangements for her to attend with her.  Lauren would be able to give her advice and protect her interests during interview. Further, because this was an interview by the police under caution the advice and representation would be free of charge.

When Lauren attended for the interview, it was clear that the evidence against the client was strong.  The police had CCTV evidence so she could be clearly identified.   They had also traced the call to the police as coming from a mobile phone registered to her.

The nature of the interview meant that any charge would be Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm.  If convicted at court she could well have faced a custodial sentence.

Restorative Justice Negotiated

Lauren’s client was a single mother with two small children so was obviously very scared at facing the prospect of a prison sentence.  She admitted hitting the security guard although she had not intended to cause him such a serious injury.  She was extremely sorry for what she had done, and wanted to apologise to the victim.

As a result, Lauren advised the client to give her account to the police in interview.  It would be an opportunity to offer an apology and put forward her genuine remorse.

Lauren was then able to make representations to the police that the matter be considered for a restorative justice disposal.  These representations were successful so the prosecution was avoided. The matter was dealt with by her client writing a letter of apology to the victim.

Contact a Newark Criminal Solicitor

This case highlights the importance of instructing a solicitor in a case from the outset.  It remains important even where you may have committed an offence.  We can help you to secure the best possible outcome for you in the circumstances.  We are contracted with the government to provide free police station advice.

Lauren splits her time between our Nottingham and Newark offices. If you are due to be interviewed by the police or have a case before court then please contact her on 0115 9599550 or 01636 614013.  To send a message to her directly email her here.

Police Interview following Theory Test

Police interview for Nottingham crime solicitor Jameel Malik
Nottingham criminal solicitor Jameel Malik

Nottingham criminal solicitor Jameel Malik recently represented a client who had attended Central Police station as a volunteer for police interview.  She had requested the duty solicitor and Jameel attended.

His client was due to be questioned in a police interview under caution as she was said to have used a Bluetooth earpiece to obtain answers from somebody outside the testing room while taking her theory test.

This behaviour, if true, would amount to the offence of attempted fraud as she had not actually passed the test.  When the offending had been detected she had potentially made matters worse by running away.

police interview driving test cheatThe matter could have been taken seriously by the police.  Such behaviour has the capability of undermining the integrity of the testing system.  Jameel was aware of a case that had recently been dealt with before Nottingham Crown Court where, in similar circumstances, that offender had received a sentence of 4 months immediate custody.  Details of that case can be found here.

Jameel’s client had not been in trouble with the police before.  She was accepting her responsibility for the offence.  She was in the unfortunate position where she had paid to sit this test seven times without success.

Following her admissions and expressions of remorse during police interview, Jameel was able to negotiate an out of court disposal for his client.  She was relieved to be offered Restorative Justice.

Contact Jameel about your police interview

A police interview under caution will always be free of charge to you under the legal aid scheme.  This is true whether you are under arrest or being interviewed as a volunteer.  It is also true whether the interview takes place at a police station and is recorded, or in your own home and is written down.

If you know that you are due to be interviewed then you will be able to make arrangements for Jameel to attend the interview with you so that there are no delays and he can look after your interests from the start.

Please contact Jameel on 0115 9599550 or email him here.