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Surrey Helps Stop Cycle of Crime Through Restorative Justice

November 24, 2011

Surrey – The City of Surrey is helping to stop the cycle of crime through its restorative justice program. The City, RCMP and the community celebrated the success of the program at an event at City Hall today, in support of National Restorative Justice Week.

“Surrey’s restorative justice program offers an alternate way of viewing and dealing with crime and conflict, and includes a strong emphasis on offender accountability,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “The program brings victims, offenders, the community, and police together for respectful dialogue and resolution. It’s proven to be quite successful at preventing offenders from committing additional crimes.”

Surrey’s restorative justice program was implemented in 2008 as part of the City’s Crime Reduction Strategy. It is a non-adversarial approach which seeks to repair the harm caused by crime and violence by addressing victims’ needs, holding offenders meaningfully accountable, and involving the community in the justice process.

Since 2008, 473 people have been referred to the program, 351 face-to-face meetings or healing circles have been held and $24,224.86 in restitution has been collected.

This summer, the Surrey RCMP Support Services team conducted a review of all the youth who have gone through the program and the results showed that 94 per cent of participants have not been suspected or charged in another offence.

“Restorative justice ensures offenders accept responsibility for what they’ve done and the harm it has caused,” says Councillor Barinder Rasode, Chair of the Crime Reduction Strategy, who spoke on behalf of Mayor Dianne Watts at the event. “The numbers show that over 90 per cent of youth participants comply with the conditions, which include actions such as verbal or written apologies, counselling, community service, or financial compensation.”

National Restorative Justice week was officially held November 13-20, and this year’s theme was “Re-Visioning Justice.” The week is designed to highlight achievements and recognize of those involved in the program.

For more information about Surrey’s restorative justice program, please visit: http://bc.rcmp.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=73&languageId=1&contentId=2350

For more information on Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy, please visit: http://www.surrey.ca/plans-strategies/3669.aspx

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
604.375.4584

Surrey RCMP
Media Relations Unit
T: 604.599.7776
F: 604.599.8894
E: surrey_media_relations@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

W: www.surrey.rcmp.ca