​Online fraud victims in England and Wales: Victims’ views on sentencing and the opportunity for restorative justice?

Author(s) Button, Mark, Carol McNaughton Nicholls, Jane Kerr and Rachael Owen
Title Online fraud victims in England and Wales: Victims' views on sentencing and the opportunity for restorative justice?
Source The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, May 2015, Vol 54, No. 2, pp 193-211
Date 2015
Document type Journal article
Coverage England and Wales
Summary This study was commissioned by the Sentencing Council for England and in this paper the authors discuss the findings related to victims' views on potential sentences, particularly restorative justice. The article explores the nature of online fraud, and examines the differences of property crimes. For the study interviews and focus groups were held with key stakeholders and victims of online fraud. The victims of online fraud who participated in the study had experienced a diverse range of frauds including romance scams, fake online auctions and identity theft. Views were sought on a range of issues relating to potential sanctions such as aggravating and mitigating factors, custodial sentences, community orders, fines, restitution orders and restorative justice. Many of the victims were interested in restorative justice and cited reasons such as wanting to know why and how the fraud happened and as online fraud was generally seen to be a 'faceless crime', for offenders to see the damage they had inflicted on the victims and how this could change future behaviour. Practical challenges relating to using restorative justice for online fraud were also discussed, such as many of the frauds being committed overseas.
Keywords Online fraud; identity theft; romance scams; sentencing; restorative justice
Topic Restorative justice