Alliance Leader calls for clarity on restorative justice vetting process

Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has welcomed the publication of guidelines for community restorative justice(CRJ) schemes, as set out by David Hanson today. Mr Ford, however, was concerned that the document was not clear enough in outlining the vetting procedure for individuals involved in projects.

The South Antrim Assembly Member said: “I am very glad that schemes will only receive funding if they comply with the guidelines set out by the government and work in close co-operation with the police.

“Today’s announcement, however, does not make it clear where intelligence on whether an individual is involved in paramilitary activity will come from.

“The panel must have full access to all intelligence in the decision making process; unfortunately, these guidelines do not make this point.

“We recognise that people with paramilitary past should not necessarily be excluded from CRJ projects; however, there must be full security vetting, to ensure those currently involved in paramilitary activities are excluded.

“I am pleased that the document states that community restorative justice projects can only address criminal offences if the police refer incidents to them.

“Many community restorative justice projects operate in an appropriate manner and play an important role in society; however, I welcome the chance that these guidelines provides to regulate and monitor CRJ projects.

David Ford concluded: “I hope that all projects will sign up to these new guidelines, to ensure that community restorative justice schemes work in close co-operation with the police.”


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