The Big Question

If you were a victim of crime, would you want a face-to-face meeting with the offender?

Angie Lawrence – Single mother

In theory I agree with the idea of a victim and their perpetrator meeting. The victim would be more likely to reach closure on the crime they were subjected to and be able to move on, and the perpetrator may be less likely to offend when they have a more complete picture of the impact their criminal actions have had on the victim and the community.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
It might stir feelings in me that I would dislike.Not knowing how I would react or feel is enough for me to say no. I have dealt with the aftermath of a theft to my own satisfaction in the past, so would not want to “experiment” with other ways of handling it. I guess the crux is that if one felt the need to, then it would probably be helpful.

Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic sons
What helps the individual victim should be the deciding factor in each case. I have tried the face-to-face approach with teenagers vandalising my property. One group started chatting to me in the street, others continued doing more damage. It would just stir up negative emotions meeting anyone who had caused me trouble.

Richard West – Inspired Services
I think it can be harder for people with a learning difficulty to talk to someone if they have been victims of crime, because many of the words used are not being said in an accessible way. It is the same in court. How do we have fair justice if we are being harassed by lawyers to make us change our minds using language we don’t understand?

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