Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. From the 1st October 2014, MOPAC assumed responsibility for commissioning victims services, including restorative justice, in London and MOPAC has been awarded an annual grant from the Ministry of Justice for this purpose. The provision of restorative justice (RJ) is a duty under article 12 of the EU Directive 2011/0129 (COD), which was adopted on the 4 October 2012. Article 12 establishes the right of victims to safeguards to ensure that "victims who choose to participate in restorative justice processes have access to safe and competent restorative justice services". Developing our approach to RJ will enable MOPAC to comply with that duty.
1.2. The provision of victim initiated RJ can lead to very high rates of victim satisfaction (85%) and enable victims to reach ‘closure’. However, the offer and use of RJ varies across London. The Restorative Justice Council funded ‘Mapping of RJ services in London’ (published October 2014) is by no means a comprehensive account but illustrates the range of services in scale, aspiration and reach. It highlights that the offer is inconsistent across agencies including statutory and voluntary sectors. There is therefore an opportunity for MOPAC to commission a Service that delivers pan-London coordination and RJ service provision, ensuring an improved offer for victims wherever they live in London.
1.3. The development of the pan London RJ Service also complements the Ministry of Justice’s ‘Restorative Justice Action Plan’ which focuses on 3 key issues:
• ensuring victims have equal access to RJ and that it is available at all stages of the criminal justice process, ‘irrespective of where […] the victim lives and where the offender is located’;
• increasing awareness and understanding so that ‘people are aware of RJ and its potential benefits (particularly victims)…Victims and offenders can make informed decisions about participating in RJ and know how to access it’; and
• delivering good quality RJ so that it is ‘safe, competent and focused on the needs of the victim…with a particular emphasis on ensuring there is no re-victimisation’.
1.4. MOPAC has commissioned a pan London RJ Service up to the value of £1,300,000, to enable the coordination of provision of RJ across London, addressing the structural and delivery challenges outlined above. The Service will to run from July 2016 until December 2018 and has two distinct but interrelated elements, i.e. developing the foundations of an effective, integrated Service model, that is supported by partners (Part 1 – the value of this element is up to £300,000) and operationalising the Service, delivering effective, good quality RJ interventions for Victims integrated with local provision (Part 2 – the value of this element is up to £1,000,000).
1- Development of a pan London ‘Hub and Spoke’ RJ operating model
This element of the Service will focus on;
• Engaging with statutory and voluntary sector partners to secure buy in to enable the development of a high quality, coordinated RJ service offer for Victims;
• Mapping existing RJ services to identify gaps in provision and new opportunities to extend the scope and quality of RJ provision across London;
• To undertake Service user needs analysis to help shape the Service design.
2 - To run a pan London ‘Hub and Spoke’ RJ Service
This element of the Service will focus on;
• Running a service ‘Hub’ to handle referrals and generate RJ cases and processes;
• Delivering primarily victim – led RJ provision and casework through ‘local spokes’;
• Integrating the Service with wider provision/ partners in London including borough based services, maximising the value of RJ provision more broadly.
1.5. MOPAC is using a spilt commissioning framework, enabling a review of the development of the Service at the end of Part 1 to assess the viability and efficacy of the proposed Service model before it starts receiving referrals.
1.6. The opportunity to review how the Service is developing, mitigates the risk of an ineffective Service going live and provides MOPAC with assurances around progress and the strength of partnership involvement in developing the offer to Victims.
2. Issues for Consideration
2.1 A competitive grant award process was undertaken with the aim of awarding a conditional grant. The process commenced on the 24th March and closed on the 29th April 2016.
2.1. MOPAC received two bids which were assessed by a multi agency panel. The bids were initially assessed against set evaluation criteria which were published with the specification. Both bids met the essential criteria and were then scored against a set of quality criteria related to service parts one and two and to value for money. The overall criteria and weightings are set out in the table below.
Ref Criteria Weighting
1 Service Part 1: Effective Implementation 45 %
2 Service Part 2: Capability to Deliver an Effective Service 45 %
3 Value for Money 10 %
2.2. The recommendation of the panel is that MOPAC appoint Catch22 with its consortium partners Restorative Solutions CIC, Khulisa and the IARS International Institute to undertake both elements of the specification.
3. Financial Comments
3.1. The maximum value of the conditional grant award for the London Resotrative Justice Service will be £1.3m over a two and a half year period. MOPAC has committed to funding the RJ service through a combination of the Ministry of Justice grant and MOPAC’s core budget (DMPC/D 2016/44 and DMPC/D 2015 46 refer). Agreement on the funding allocation across the financial years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 will be made with the provider following mobilisation of service part two in November 2016. The deliverables and outcomes will be set out in the grant agreement and delivery against these will be monitored through the grant mangagement process.
3.2. The Ministry of Justice funding is provided through an annual grant to MOPAC. This decision complies with the general conditions and scope of the grant from the Ministry of Justice and in particular will:
1. enhance the current provision of emotional and practical support services for victims of crime (as defined in Article 2(1)(a) of the Victims’ Directive), by providing restorative justice services and practical support measures for all victims (whether or not they choose to report to the police), including those in the priority categories outlined in the Victims’ Code, namely victims of the most serious crime, persistently targeted victims, and vulnerable or intimidated victims, to help them cope with the impacts of crime and, as far as possible, recover from the harm they have experienced;
2. build the capacity and capability of providers of services for victims of crime, including providers of restorative justice services from the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector;
3. address an identified gap in RJ provision to meet the needs of victims within London, ensuring that the provision takes account of guidance issued by the Restorative Justice Council to ensure the development of safe and competent restorative justice services (in accordance with Article 12 of the Victims’ Directive); and
4. deliver efficiency and best value through the development of an integrated service and ensure the MOJ funding is utilised within this financial year.
4. Legal Comments
4.1. MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3(6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 MOPAC has wide incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7(2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.
4.2. Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.
4.3. The powers in section 143 were given to MOPAC following the Government’s response to the consultation Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses (2 July 2012) in which it set out a package of reforms to the way in which support services for victims of crime are to be provided. Section 143 creates a clear statutory basis for the proposals set out in this decision form, namely to award grant funding to Victim Support and to a number of other bodies as set out above for the provision of victim-support related services.
4.4. Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC (paragraph 5.6). The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by the DMPC. The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Operating Officer is in accordance with the general power of delegation in paragraph 1.7.
5. Equality Comments
5.1. MOPAC is required to comply with the public sector equality duty set out in section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010. This requires MOPAC to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
5.2. The proposals detailed in this decision will ensure that free of charge, non-discriminatory, confidential restorative justice services are available to all victims of crime should they choose to participate in it. It must be recognised that the use of RJ in cases of domestic and sexual violence may present particular challenges, and some concern about this has been expressed by Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector provider organisations. However, choice is important in the provision of any victim service, so it would be inappropriate to prohibit access to the RJ service for those who have suffered domestic and sexual violence. To mitigate against any potential risk in such cases, it will be a condition of the grant that the provider engages with VAWG sector providers during service part one to put in place effective safeguards, including appropriate training, to ensure there will be no harm or increased risk of harm to any victim.