....Examples where there was often a good result were in cases such as careless use of a motor vehicle causing injury or death.

"And other similar cases where the criminality is not high but the harm is and the effect is devastating. You have a defendant who wants to make amends and a victim who wants to understand what happened and why. And so you can have some great mending there rather than ongoing miscommunication and bitterness."

Street assaults were other examples of where victims may have a perception of fear, feeling that they were perhaps targeted.

"And then they meet with the offender and realise that there is a major difference between the perception and the reality where the offender tells them that they were enraged by alcohol and the victim was in the wrong place rather than someone who had been directly targeted.

"They are reassured so it can be a very powerful tool."

Analysis of the outcomes are tending to support the view that a large percentage of offenders that go through RJ process are less inclined to reoffend, Mr Greig said.

"And if a conference is successful, it is a good result in itself."

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