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Restorative meetings

A Restorative Meeting is a structured process that brings together affected parties enabling everyone affected by a particular incident or conflict to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

As part of Neighbourhood Policing, partners including Durham County Council and Durham Constabulary are working under the banner of The Safe Durham Partnership to introduce restorative approaches. A restorative meeting is part of this approach.

What is a Restorative Meeting?

A Restorative Meeting is a structured meeting that brings together people affected by an incident or dispute. It gives everyone involved the chance to tell each other how they feel and what impact the incident or dispute has had on them.

It gives the affected parties the opportunity to ask questions to help them understand more and move on with their lives. It allows the harmer to take responsibility for their actions, to apologise and to help put things right.

How things can be 'put right' will be agreed at the meeting by both parties. Dealing with an incident or dispute using a restorative approach can be done by: 

  • Both parties meeting directly face to face.
  • The affected party asking relevant questions about the incident or dispute through a representative or third party.

Why should I consider a Restorative Meeting?

Benefits for the affected party

  • It gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the incident or dispute.
  • It gives you the opportunity to tell the harmer how their actions have affected you during, and since the incident or dispute.
  • It gives you the chance to agree any actions to repair the harm and allow the harmer to put things right.
  • It can help you put the incident behind you and help you move on with your life.

Benefits for the harmer

  • It gives you the opportunity to apologise and to take responsibility for your actions and behaviour. 
  • It gives you a chance to explain to those affected how and why you behaved in such a way. 
  • It gives you the chance to repair the harm and to agree how to put things right. 
  • It gives you an opportunity to resolve the incident in a way that benefits both parties.

A Restorative Meeting is not a 'soft option' for those who have caused harm and will only be considered where the affected party supports this type of resolution.

For further information about the project, please contact us.

Contact us
Safer Communities Coordinator