VICTIMS of crime will get the chance to meet face-to-face with the criminals who targeted them as part of a new police scheme being introduced in Wirral.
Neighbourhood Justice Panels will give offenders the chance to apologise to their victims in the hope of making them face up to their actions.
Merseyside Police, Wirral Council, Magenta Living and Community Action Wirral have pulled together to create the project, which looks to resolve matters through “restorative justice”.
The panels give some of the power currently held by courts and the police back to communities in order to resolve conflicts caused by crime and antisocial behaviour.
Merseyside Police said the panels “will bring victims and wrongdoers together in a safe environment to reach an agreed outcome”.
The result of such meetings could include an apology or activity to repay the victim or community.
Police hope the system will help to reduce re-offending, stop problems from escalating and reduce the harm caused to victims.
A spokesman for the force said: “Wirral has a track record of using restorative justice with young people engaged with Wirra Youth Offending Service and is seeking to extend this successful practice to help deal with low level crime and antisocial behaviour.”
Volunteers are now being asked to apply to help run the scheme.
The spokesman added: “The role of volunteers is wide and varied and can include supporting victims through the process, mentoring wrongdoers, helping organise panels and training new volunteers.”
Anyone over the age of 16 can apply and will need to complete and submit a basic application form.
Successful applicants will be subject to police vetting and will be required to attend free training sessions taking place in June.
For more information and details on how to apply, visit wirral.gov.uk/NJPvolunteer