Restorative Justice used to challenge antisemitism
23 August 2018
CST has long supported the use of Restorative Justice for victims of crime in order to explain to offenders the impact of their crime, and for offenders to apologise for their actions. This month, CST has been involved another Restorative Justice case, after an antisemitic incident took place in May in Prestwich.
At the end of May, CST was hosting a training session in Prestwich, after which a small group of people gathered outside. A car drove past, and the driver shouted at the group, “f***ing Jewish c***s”, whilst a passenger in the car held up a badge which had a swastika on it. CST reported the incident to the Police and provided them with CCTV of the incident to ensure that the perpetrators were found and dealt with.
After the driver of the vehicle who shouted antisemitic abuse was located, as well as two of passengers involved, the victims and the offenders agreed to take part in Restorative Justice. The driver and two of the passengers met with staff from CST and the victims in a meeting chaired by PC Neil Cheslett, who has much experience of using Restorative Justice for antisemitic hate crime cases. The significance of the Holocaust was explained to the offenders, including details of the Nazi concentration camps to underpin why using a swastika to abuse Jews is so offensive. Another victim discussed their time in the British Army in order to explain the importance of tolerance and he discussed what he had to face during his time in service so that we can live the lives we do today. The perpetrators were asked about why they carried out the abuse, and all three perpetrators apologised for their actions and the offence caused.
CST would like to thank those involved in this case, including Greater Manchester Police, the victims involved and PC Neil Cheslett.