A Restorative Fenland

Fenland’s Community Safety Partnership takes a new approach to resolving ASB and neighbour disputes

VICTIMS of neighbourhood disputes such as noise complaints and anti-social behaviour are now being offered a chance to address the problem in a restorative meeting with the person responsible.

Staff from Fenland’s Anti-social behaviour Problem Solving Group spent four days gaining new skills on restorative approaches and mediation from the force’s Restorative Justice (RJ) experts.

Strategic Lead for RJ DCI Dominic Human and RJ Co-ordinator Lynsey Brown designed and delivered the course for the Fenland staff in a bid to strengthen the partnership response to ASB  – which doesn’t always require a criminal intervention.

“Neighbourhood issues can very often be addressed through early intervention and discussion between those affected. If we can give the local council staff the skills to tackle these issues in a way which avoids any further harm or leads to entrenched disputes we are likely to see a reduction the demand for policing services,” said DCI Human.

Lynsey added: “It is great to see Fenland are so forward thinking and willing to look at alternative ways to deal with neighbourhood issues.  We have already had two referrals to the Restorative Justice Hub and are supporting our Fenland colleagues to bring these to a positive outcome.”

The ten staff from Fenland based organisations attended four days of training which accredited them as RJ Practitioners and gave them skills on effective mediation. The course was supported by Restorative Solutions.

“The feedback from the course was fantastic,” added Lynsey, “in particular the approach of looking at new ways to tackle old issues within the existing resources was praised.”

The RJ Service in Cambridgeshire is funded and supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner as part of his commitment to providing effective support to victims to cope and recover from their experiences.

RJ Practitioners (2)