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Meet the Burglars

Victims of burglary and other crimes are increasingly being offered the opportunity to meet the criminals who offended against them, in a controversial scheme aimed at empowering victims and potentially cut levels of re-offending among former prisoners.

Panorama reporter Raphael Rowe goes into a jail to witness a tense encounter between two young women and the youth who broke into their home while they slept.

Meetings between victims and offenders have proved to be remarkably successful in cutting reoffending and allowing victims to recover far more quickly.

The government wants to see more of these restorative justice meetings used in the criminal justice system following all types of crimes.

Another victim of a horrific attack reveals to Panorama how her true motive in agreeing to meet her burglar was to get revenge and kill him.

We welcome your views on this week's programme. Please follow us on Twitter @BBCPanorama or use this forum to give your thoughts on Meet the Burglars.


  • Comment number 1.

    If you are a victim of crime and this programme has affected you, and you want to find out more about restorative justice, please see the website of the Restorative Justice Council www.restorativejustice.org.uk

  • Comment number 2.

    Watching Tom meet his victims of burglary reminded me of my youth, I also met my victims of burglary when I was 20. It was a very humbling experience and made me realise the hurt I caused that person. It changed me for life.

  • Comment number 3.

    I found this program very interesting and relevant to a similar situation I found myself in recently. I am a security manager for a well known retail department store and the Police approached me and asked if I would meet a 15 year old offender caught shoplifting from the store. This was new to me and the store and was very reluctant to agree to it as we always prosecute but after meeting with the offender talking about how her crime has more of an affect than she thought I felt it had the desired affect.
    The program has convinced me even more especially seeing as it saves tax payer money, police time is reduced and its what the public wants.
    I do however think it wont be too long until offenders (the heartless ones) realise they get a reduced or less severe punishment and the percentage of people who don't re-offend (after doing this new scheme) will drop! It should only be used with first time young offenders (if they re-offend the usual punishment should stand).


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