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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 08:15 GMT
Crime meetings 'cut re-offences'
Hand holding a knife
Restorative justice forces offenders to face up to their crimes
Violent criminals are far less likely to re-offend if they meet their victim, according to a report seen by BBC News.

The study, led by a Cambridge University academic, says schemes helping offenders face up to crimes affect adults more than children.

It also suggests a victim's desire for violent revenge is reduced and their recovery from distress is aided.

Police and courts can arrange face-to-face meetings but some experts doubt if they help to cut crime.

British Crime Survey

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw said: "This report, an evaluation of schemes across the world, indicates that restorative justice can lead to substantial reductions in re-offending.

"The more serious the offence, the better the results."

Last month, British Crime Survey findings revealed that the risk of becoming a victim of crime in England and Wales is rising for the first time since 1995.

The survey, regarded as a reliable measure of crime by the Home Office, said the risk had risen one percentage point to 24.3%.

And, in a separate measure, the number of crimes reported to police had fallen 3% in the third quarter of 2006 compared with the same period the previous year.

However, the risk of becoming a victim of crime in the UK is still lower than its peak of 40% in 1995.


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