Belfast Telegraph

Probation Board encourages victims to sign up to information scheme

The Victim Information Scheme enables probation officers to provide information to victims of crime.

The Probation Board has urged victims of crime to register with its information scheme. (Yui Mok/PA)
The Probation Board has urged victims of crime to register with its information scheme. (Yui Mok/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

The Probation Board has urged victims of crime to register with its information scheme.

There have been 2,232 registrations across Northern Ireland with the board’s Victim Information Scheme since the initiative started in 2005.

The service has facilitated almost 100 restorative interventions which it said can prevent reoffending as well as enabling victims to have their voices heard.

Probation Board assistant director Ruth McKelvey said: “The Victim Information Scheme enables probation officers to provide information to victims of crime.

“As part of information provision, PBNI victim liaison officers explain the sentence, how supervision works and respond to the victim’s concerns and requests.

“The scheme is available to any person (or agreed representative) who has been the direct victim of a criminal offence for which the offender received a probation supervised sentence.”

Of the 2,232 victims the scheme has worked with, 78% were victims of sexual or other violence or families who had suffered a bereavement.

“Approximately 66% of those who register already knew the offender in their case,” Ms McKelvey said.

“In the last number of years PBNI victims’ unit staff have, in response to victim requests, facilitated approximately 89 restorative interventions including cases of death by dangerous driving, manslaughter, murder, attempted murder, rape, hijacking, robbery, intimidation and grievous bodily harm. 

“The majority have included indirect restorative shuttle dialogue between the victim and offender. Victim offender meetings and letters of apology, more recently renamed ‘reflective letter’, have also been facilitated.

“We want to encourage more people to sign up to the victims’ information scheme as it is a voluntary opt-in scheme.”

More information can be found at https://www.pbni.org.uk/what-we-do/victim-information-scheme/

PA

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