Much of our website focuses on the agencies who should be responding to victims of anti-social behaviour and on getting an appropriate response for those victims. It is important, however, to realise that an appropriate response won’t always be to evict the problem tenant or arrest the perpetrators of the anti-social behaviour.
Early intervention has proved to be highly effective in stopping anti-social behaviour and giving the offenders the help they need to turn away from problem behaviour before it escalates out of control and into a life of crime. Victims and communities have an important part to play in supporting early intervention techniques, especially in restorative justice.
Restorative justice is a form of punishment that does not go through the courts (civil or criminal) but seeks to help an offender understand the wrong they have done and make amends. It is an approach that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community. Victims take an active role in the process whilst offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions.
Examples of restorative justice include apologising, mediation, cleaning up graffiti, and community service. This is one of the new measures being introduced in the 2014 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, called the Community Remedy which is giving victims a say in the punishment of their offenders. We believe such dialogue is useful and can hopefully give greater victim satisfaction in many low-level incidents of anti-social behaviour.
For more information about restorative justice, we suggest you visit the Restorative Justice Council website http://www.restorativejustice.org.uk/.