Yarlington and Somerset Community Justice Panel sign Service Level Agreement (From This is The West Country)
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Yarlington and Somerset Community Justice Panel sign Service Level Agreement
9:00am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
THE Somerset Community Justice Panel (SCJP) was set up in response to local concerns about anti-social behaviour and the perception that crime was high.
The panel encourages those causing harm or distress to others to acknowledge the impact of what they have done.
Over 900 people have taken part in conferences since the start of the panel; victim satisfaction is at 97% and re-offending rates are only 3%.
Following the success of this justice model it has also been piloted elsewhere in the UK.
Recognising the value of the Panel, Yarlington Housing Association, in Yeovil, has recently entered into a Service Level Agreement with the SCJP.
This agreement will enable Yarlington to focus on using the Community Justice Panel as an early intervention tool, as opposed to the use of a legal remedy, to reduce anti-social behaviour and assist with neighbourhood disputes.
Yarlington has agreed with the SCJP, provisions to help facilitate a number of Community Justice Panels upon referral of cases from Yarlington.
This arrangement will be in place for a period of one year after which the service will be reviewed for potential continuance.
Nick Fry, assistant director of housing and customer services at Yarlington said: "This agreement endorses our commitment to tackle anti-social behaviour and is a huge step towards minimising this behaviour in our communities with the timely intervention of the Community Justice Panel.
"Yarlington are continually striving to support communities and this process enables our communities to be directly involved in resolving the problems affecting them.
"It introduces a positive approach to deal with ASB matters and facilitate agreements to repair the harm caused between both the victim and the offender."
Emma Bourne, chair of the Somerset Community Justice Panel, said: "On behalf of the Somerset Community Justice Panel, I would like to thank Yarlington for their continued support.
"Our mutual goal of stronger and safer communities is a great basis for a long term partnership."