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Jewish community meet abusers for restorative justice

Members of the Jewish community met with two men who had abused them in the street.
On Monday 16 May 2016 the meeting took place between members of the Jewish community and the two men in Prestwich.

On Thursday 3 March 2016 the two men had driven on Bury New Road through Prestwich and shouted abuse at people walking by; most of whom are members of the Jewish community.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police’s Prestwich Neighbourhood Team traced the offenders and invited two victims, who are a Rabbi and a woman, along with members of the Community Security Trust, and other partners to a restorative justice meeting with the offenders.

The result was that the two men, aged 23 and 24, were interviewed and accepted responsibility for their actions, and were dealt with using Restorative Justice.

Restorative justice (RJ) helps victims take an active role in the resolution of crimes committed against them and come face-to-face with their offender, allowing them to ask the questions that only the offender can answer, like ‘why me?’.
Restorative Justice is found to help repair harm and formulate an agreement between victim and offender without resulting in a criminal record.

Police Sergeant Steve Wightman Love said: “We are committed to supporting victims of crime in any way that we can and RJ gave the victims the opportunity to face their offenders as part of the rehabilitation process.

“The meeting was an emotional event on all sides, with the two men admitting that their behaviour was Anti-Semitic in nature and not acceptable. It helped offenders better understand the consequences of their actions and this resulted in what I can only describe as the most productive Restorative Justice meeting I have ever been involved in.

“One of the attendees at the meeting, a Jewish Orthodox gentleman, thanked me and my colleague for dealing with the subject in a sensitive yet robust way.

“This highlights the positive results that police and the community can achieve when we work together with the community to tackle anti-Semitism.

Anyone with concerns, or who would like to pass on information, is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Editor at large, SalfordOnline.com