A year on from when it first launched, a community panel offering restorative justice to residents is continuing to go from strength to strength.
Chaired by Coun. Margaret Foxley, Colne Community Advisory Panel was launched at Colne Town Hall after around three years of preparation.
Made up of volunteers, who are trained by Restorative Solutions, the main aim of the panel is to resolve issues or disputes in the community as simply as possible.
While some issues will need police assistance, others do not,
When it launched, it was the first of its kind in Lancashire, but now it is said to have been rolled out further afield.
For Coun. Foxley, who had firsthand experience of restorative justice when she met the burglar who stole a laptop containing pictures of her late daughter Jessica, the project has got off to a “brilliant” start.
And while she has been faced with difficulties, she is delighted that the panel’s aims are now starting to be understood within the community.
She said: “The cases are coming through, and we are going to have to train more volunteers now.
“I think people are much more aware of the panel’s existence, and what it stands for.
“What is really good about it is that police are recognising that they can’t deal with every single community issue that comes their way, even if they want to.
“We had two successful cases in March, where the police didn’t think in a million years that we would bring these people together.
“With a lot of these cases, it is just a lack of understanding of the other party.
“I am really pleased with how it is going.”
Praising the panel, Insp. Paul Goodall added: “We do appreciate the works of the volunteers - they are giving something back to the people of Colne.”
For more information visit www.restorativejustice.org.uk