Offenders sentenced to unpaid work in Cheshire have clocked up 72,333 hours of Community Payback across the county, completing a range of projects to improve communities.
Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC) is responsible for supervising people on Community Payback and ensuring they comply with their sentence.
In the past six months offenders have completed 72,333 hours of Community Payback, carrying out tasks such as clearing parks and cemeteries, removing graffiti, litter picking, renovating buildings and work in charity shops – among other initiatives.
With the national wage standing at £7.83 that equates to more than a half a million pounds of work delivered (£566,367).
Chris Edwards, CGM CRC’s chief executive, said: “Community Payback provides a tough, effective and visible punishment requiring people to undertake challenging work while giving something back to communities where they live.
“It also provides an opportunity for people to turn their experience into a positive one by picking up new skills that can help them towards paid employment and leading more stable, positive and crime-free lives.”
Magistrates or judges can sentence offenders to carry out anything from 40 to 300 hours of unpaid work as part of their order.
Community Payback must include a minimum of a day’s work – lasting at least seven hours – once a week.
People can also be sentenced to intensive Community Payback orders, which mean they must complete 28 hours of work every week.
All projects combine hard work and the chance for the participant to develop skills.
It is also a punishment as the individual is giving up their time to carry out the initiatives.
Community sentences can be given for crimes including damaging property, benefit fraud and assault.
They are often handed out by judges and magistrates when the offender is appearing at court when it is thought such a sentence may be more likely to stop an offender committing crimes than a prison sentence.
The Community Payback Team in CGM CRC would like to hear about other projects which residents think will make a real difference to their community.
To contact the team, log onto: www.cgmcrc.co.uk.