VOLUNTEERS are being sought to support a new police scheme being introduced in Wirral that will see victims meet face-to-face with the criminals who targeted them.

Neighbourhood Justice Schemes will give offenders the chance to apologise to their victims in the hope of making them face up to their actions.

They were established to help resolve conflicts cause by crime and antisocial behaviour and bring together victims and wrongdoers in a safe environment to reach an agreed outcome, such as an apology, or reparation to repay the victim or community.

It is hoped it will help reduce reoffending, stop problems from escalating, and reduce the harm caused to victims.  It also gives back some power to communities, who often feel powerless.

Volunteers are critical to the success of the project, and their role includes supporting victims through the process, mentoring wrongdoers, helping to organise restorative justice conferences and training new volunteers.

In return, volunteers have the knowledge they are giving something back to their community, developing new skills, and building on existing experience and knowledge.

Wirral’s Neighbourhood Justice Scheme is administered by Wirral Council, Merseyside Police, Magenta Living and Community Action Wirral.

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.”

An open evening will be held from 6pm at Wallasey Town Hall on June 17 where people can find out more about the role.

Anyone over the age of 16 can apply to become a volunteer although they should have a range of attributes including fairness, impartiality, patience, integrity and honesty.

Successful applicants will be subject to police vetting and will be required to attend one to three days free training taking place over the first two weeks in July.

For more information and to apply to be a volunteer, visit wirral.gov.uk/NJPvolunteer.

The closing date for applications is Sunday, June 22, 2014.

To register to attend the open evening email your name and contact number to neighbour.nuisance@wirral.gov.uk or call the Anti-Social Behaviour Team on 0151 637 6400.