Community Payback scheme give Wiltshire a spring clean
Offenders in Wiltshire have been praised for their work as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s “Spring Clean” campaign (March 25th-April 10th).
Eighteen people involved with the community payback scheme took part in projects in Swindon, Lacock and Warminster committing to a total of sixty-one hours of work dedicated to the campaign.
Community payback, which was previously known as community service, is an alternative to a prison sentence for people who have committed a crime.
Work including ground clearance, grass cutting and litter picking was undertaken by the group to support the campaign but the scheme has also taken on larger projects such as creating and maintaining a community orchard in Lacock.
Since the start of the year, over 17,000 hours of work have been delivered across Wiltshire and with the national living wage at £9.30 an hour, this equates to around £158,000 of labour.
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said:
Some people think Community Payback is a soft option. It's not. The offenders are visible to the public whilst also being taught valuable skills which could help them with future employment.
One of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is to reduce re-offending and to support the rehabilitation of offenders. The work of the Probation Service through schemes like Community Payback achieves those goals."
Courts will order an individual to carry out community payback in cases whereby the offender can be better rehabilitated in the community. This can include first time offenders or where a mental health condition has been an influencing factor.
Patrick Holliday from Lacock Parish Council said:
The Community Payback workers do a great job for us in keeping the village tidy. They're enthusiastic and work hard.
As well as maintenance, we've challenged them with more demanding work like the community orchard.
It's good to see how well they've worked on something which will benefit many generations to come in Lacock. It's a win-win for all of us"
Communities can nominate a Community Payback project to suggest what unpaid work is carried out by offenders in your local area, this could be: