A GOVERNMENT minister recently visited Yate to observe work being done as part of an offender community project.

Ed Argar, prisons and probation minister, visited a team collecting litter and tidying up Abbotswood Play Area on Thursday as part of the Community Payback project. 

The scheme sees offenders avoiding jail sentences by repaying communities for the harm they caused.

Every year, courts in the UK impose over 50,000 unpaid work requirements to punish offenders for offences such as theft, criminal damage, and alcohol-related incidents.

Thousands of offenders as part of the project will put in more than 12,000 hours of work clearing tonnes of litter from roadsides and maintaining beauty spots.

Members of the public can nominate a Community Payback project to suggest what unpaid work is carried out by offenders in their local area.

Mr Argar said: “Community Payback forces offenders to clean up their act and pay back society for the damage they have done on our high streets, local areas and much-valued green spaces.

“Forcing thousands of them to take part in a nationwide clean-up restores a sense of pride in our communities and helps deter criminals from vandalising our towns and cities.”

It comes as the Community Payback website has recently been relaunched. 

The Ministry of Justice says it is hoped it will now be easier for members of the public to report anti-social behaviour and nominate potential projects in their neighbourhoods.


Gazette Series: Minister visits Yate for Community Payback project