Put the criminals to work
Wednesday November 14, 2012
Residents are being asked to nominate community projects that could benefit from some free labour as part of a scheme to make offenders pay for their crimes.
Under the ‘community payback’ scheme, criminals – including vandals, graffiti artists and drink drivers – are compelled to do manual work on worthwhile projects that spruce up the neighbourhood.
Typical work includes clearing undergrowth, repairing and redecorating community spaces and removing graffiti.
Areas to have benefitted from the scheme in the past include Ravenscourt Park, Wormholt Estate, Wormwood Scrubs, Lillie Road Recreation Grounds and St Paul’s Church.
Around 1.3million hours of community payback are completed every year in London – equating to around £10million of free labour per year.
Cllr Greg Smith, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council Deputy Leader, said: “Punishments like this are one way that offenders can be forced to make some attempt at paying residents back for the harm they have caused.
“Cracking down on yob culture and the offenders who know all about their rights but not their responsibilities is central to our zero tolerance approach. Residents can nominate community projects that they would like to see benefit today.”
For a project to be considered for community payback it must meet the following criteria:
- It must benefit the local community
- It must not take paid work away from others
- No one must make a profit from the work
- It must be challenging and demanding
- It must be worthwhile and constructive
- Offenders must be seen to be putting something back into the community.
Community payback is a joint initiative between the probation service, H&F Council and Serco.
If you have a project that offenders could work on please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 020 7740 8222.