It’s incredible to realise that since we started our ROC Restore project in April 2013, we’ve received more than 400 referrals across the North West. These referrals have come from all kinds of referrers, including the Police, Council and Housing Associations, as well as more recently, schools.
From those 400 referrals, we’ve been able to facilitate a huge number of conferences and agreements between parties who have been involved in low level crime, anti-social behaviour, nuisance or neighbour disputes.
Recent calculations have revealed an estimated cost saving to the tax payer, through the ROC Restore project, of over £1 million, and that’s not including the most important value: to the individuals involved of having their voices heard, minds put at ease and, in nearly every case, an apology for the harm caused to them.
One recent participant was so impressed she wrote in to express her appreciation for what she called the outstanding service that was provided to them following a dispute with their neighbours. In terms of the outcome, she commented “The previous tension we had been experiencing has now been alleviated so that, although we are not ‘best friends’ as such, we can at least be civil and live peaceably alongside one another.”
Another referral involved a group of young people involved in a burglary at a bakery. After the conference, where the young people heard from the bakery owner the impact of their actions, one young person commented, “I realise how easy it is to go down the wrong track” and another thought the process was a “good way of correcting ways of thinking and doing things, and a good way of reconnecting with community”.
We’re looking forward to the next 400 referrals and passionate about seeing improved community cohesion and positive life changes across the UK.