The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has commissioned a victim awareness course for adult offenders. The course is aimed at giving victims a greater say in the criminal justice process and diverting the offender away from further offending.

Dr Billings said: “The victim awareness course will be available for police officers to refer offenders to as a condition of either a community resolution or conditional caution.

“It is aimed at diverting suitable offenders from the court system and preventing them from reoffending, by educating them in the error of their actions and allowing them to see other alternatives to becoming a career criminal.”

As part of the course, offenders will have the opportunity to understand how their crime impacts the victim, themselves, their family and the wider community. They will also receive information on how restorative justice can benefit both them and the victim.

Police Sergeant Richard Hammond said, “This a real opportunity to engage offenders with a meaningful condition as part of an out of court disposal. South Yorkshire Police statistics show that offenders who receive a community resolution are significantly less likely to reoffend than those who receive a simple caution or fixed penalty notice.

“The course is suitable for any offence where an offender is to be dealt with as part of a conditional caution or community resolution and can be used alongside any other condition. It will be particularly useful for offences such as shoplifting where other meaningful conditions do not readily present themselves.”

Courses will run in all four South Yorkshire Police districts with referrals being accepted from 1st July 2015.