This Conference was organised on 21 November 2019 by Police Sergeant Michele Birch of West Midlands Police, Meena Ralhr of the Pioneer Group and Michelle Bailey of Remedi.
During the conference Philip Brown spoke to Cath Johnson, Chair of the West Midlands Victims Commission. He explained that Cov RJ Forum are very unhappy that victims of anti-social behaviour who are not living in social housing are required to pay over £200 in order to take part in RJ. “This is adding insult to injury”, he said. Cath suggested he talk to Meena Ralhr and that other ways could be found to pay.
Here are summaries by Philip Brown and recordings of what the speakers said.
Introduction by Michelle Bailey
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)
He paid tribute to Cath Johnson who is the Chair of the West Midlands Victims Commission. He said he will not be standing for re-election and spoke of the economic benefits of RJ.
Superintendent Tom Joyce
Strategic RJ Lead for the West Midlands Police
He said that in the traditional criminal justice system (CJS), victims are the passengers in their own story, that victims personal statements are possible but they cannot ask questions, and compared this with RJ, in which repairing harm to victims is the most important things
RJ is not well integrated in the CJS and this needs to change.
RJ Practioner with the West Midlands RJ Hub.
She described an RJ case dealing with a noisy neighbour dispute in social housing. The housing office had threatened to evict the person who complained about a neighbour and said their children must not play together.
RJ worked after conventional handling had failed. Jo said that the police cost was five times the RJ cost.
CEO of Pioneer Group, which handles non-crime RJ within the West Midlands RJ Hub.
He described how Pioneer had come into being and reviewed RJ in the West Midlands.
Director of Remedi RJ Services which handles criminal cases within the West Midlands RJ Hub.
He described the journey so far and said he wants to expand the service into schools.
Jess Philips MP
She described her experience of RJ after her office was attacked.
She said that hating the offender is like drinking poison and expecting the offender to die.
People need to listen to each other at the same time as knowing that actions have consequences.
Letter from 12 year old girl
A letter was read out which had a profound effect upon the offender and the victim’s family.
After the tables of delegates had discussed RJ, some of them read out their thoughts and Michele Birch responded. There was not time for all tables to take part.
The mother of a murdered man described her experience of RJ.