A victim who met the offenders

"Having been a victim of a crime committed by two young offenders I was asked if I would be willing to attend a meeting.

I would face the young offenders and their parents and relate to them how I had felt regarding the incident and the ripple effect their behaviour had resulted in on myself. At first I was apprehensive about taking part. However, I agreed, and am very pleased I did.

I found that, at all times the contact, information and respect shown to me by the youth offending service was sensitive and encouraging.

The panel meeting was conducted in a relaxed yet constructive manner and I was able to express my feelings about the incident to the two offenders and their parents.

Hopefully, they were able to understand the breakdown of trust and fear I had felt resulting from the incident. I was pleased to have met the parents of the offenders, as it enabled us to clear the air and create an understanding of each other’s feelings regarding the incident.

Judging by the reactions from the teenagers, it appeared that the true consequences of the crime and the affect it can have on someone had not truly hit home until I spoke with them.

Since the meeting, the youth offending service have kept in contact to keep me informed and to see how I am.

I felt the whole process was constructive and has enabled me to put closure on the whole incident and move on."