21/12/2012

Criminals Make Community Payback

Unpaid work totalling one and three quarter million hours was imposed on low-level offenders in Scotland as punishment for their crimes in the last year, according to figures released today.

This included work to repair fallen gravestones, clean graffiti off streets and stairwells, remove chewing gum from pavements, renovate elderly care homes and building work to help improve sports facilities for the benefit of the community.

Today, the Justice Secretary urged local people across Scotland to have their say on the type of work they want to see low level offenders carrying out in their communities next year, with legislation having been brought in which means that communities can nominate projects they want to see work being carried out upon as pay back.

Mr MacAskill said: "This Government is working hard to ensure that Scotland is a safe place to live. Recorded crime at its lowest level for 37 years, supported by the work of more than 1,000 extra police officers in communities.

"These figures reflect the first full year of the Community Payback Order being used by the courts to bring offenders to justice.

"Punishment should be tough and we want to see low level offenders out making improvements to local communities as pay back for the damage they have done. Today’s statistics show that is happening with one and three quarters million hours of unpaid work imposed on offenders last year and communities are reaping the benefits right across the country.

"Whether it’s building work to renovate community facilities like changing facilities and bowling clubs, clearing chewing gum from our town centres or shovelling snow and ice to benefit members of the public, I have seen plenty of examples where CPOs are working and making a difference. Just this week, offenders have been working in Stonehaven to clear up damage caused by the weather.

"Offenders are being put to work swiftly, with more than seventy per cent of offenders starting unpaid work within seven days of leaving court."

(GK)




Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 February 2015
Plans Announced To Make Young People Work For Benefits
The Prime Minister has announced a proposal for 18 to 21-year-olds claiming benefits to do daily work experience. The proposed reform, known as Community Work Programme, would see young people not in work, education or training, required to complete daily work experience, alongside continuing to look for work in order to qualify for benefits.
25 March 2011
UK Crime Fighters Search Launched
A national search for nation's most innovative crime fighting projects has been launched by the crime prevention minister. The Tilley Awards, now in their thirteenth year, recognise crime fighting projects where police, community safety groups and the public work together to tackle problems identified by their local communities.
15 September 2003
Multi-agency approach to dangerous criminals hailed
Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) have made a "significant difference" to the way police and probation officers protect the public from the risks posed by dangerous offenders in the community, the Home Office has claimed today.
02 December 2010
Prisoners Reach Out To The Elderly
Low level offenders on community service have taken to the streets of Edinburgh to clear snow and ice from the pavements of a sheltered housing complex for the elderly.
02 September 2004
Satellite tracking pilots to target 'prolific offenders'
Satellite tracking will keep close tabs on offenders in three areas of the country in a new development launched today. The pilots will take place in Greater Manchester, Hampshire and the West Midlands.