The neighbourhood resolution panel scheme aims to help anyone affected by low level crime, anti-social behaviour and neighbour disputes by encouraging all those involved to work together to find a meaningful resolution.
The scheme is a type of ‘restorative justice’ initiative. Restorative justice is an effective, common sense approach to dealing with conflict. It helps to open up the lines of communication and promotes a better understanding between all those involved in a dispute. It also enables victims and complainants to have a say in how a situation can be resolved and in what can be done to repair the harm.
Many of those who have participated have said they would recommend the scheme to others, including:
- "Keep up the good work, it changes peoples lives"
- "We were pleased with the way the volunteers handled the meeting"
- "I can’t thank the volunteers enough for what they did. The outcome couldn’t have been any better. To think they volunteer to do this is amazing’’
How it works
Our aim is to bring people together in an informal face-to-face meeting known as a ‘panel meeting’ organised by specially trained volunteer facilitators.
Volunteer facilitators are impartial, friendly and approachable members of the local community. They will meet and talk to everyone involved before the panel meeting to hear all sides of the story and to answer any questions.
Volunteers will encourage all those involved to talk openly and honestly about their experience. This can include partners or other family members, if they too have been affected and are willing to participate.
When everyone is ready, the volunteers will set a date for the panel meeting.
At the panel meeting
The volunteer facilitators will co-ordinate the panel meeting and will be there to support and guide you. Volunteers are impartial - they are not there to take sides or to make judgements.
The meeting provides an opportunity for all those involved to meet and to talk openly, without aggression or fear, in a safe and controlled environment, about what has happened. The volunteer facilitators will encourage everyone to contribute, so that together all those involved can agree how best to resolve the issue and to repair the harm caused.
If needed, you can identify someone to give you extra support during the meeting, such as a partner, neighbour or friend.
The panel meeting will be held locally in Cambridge, at a safe, neutral venue, such as a community centre. The venue will be somewhere you can get to easily and will be agreed by all those involved.
When everyone has had the chance to speak, and to listen to all those involved, the volunteers will help the parties come to an agreement which is recorded in writing and signed by everyone.
How to contact the scheme
Referrals to the scheme currently come from the police, housing and the safer communities section. If you would like more information you can contact the scheme direct or speak to the police officer, anti-social behaviour officer or housing officer involved in your case, who will be able to refer the matter on.
If you are interested in volunteering for the scheme please contact the co-ordinator to register your interest.