CRIMINALS who sprawled obscene graffiti on a Winsford estate are being made to pay – by cleaning up their mess.
Thanks to a new partnership between the borough council and the Probation Service, the Greenfields estate is getting cleaned up at no extra cost to the taxpayer.
Supervised teams of vandals wearing bright orange high visibility vests are now scouring Vale Royal three days a week as part of the Respect Action Programme (RAP).
The offenders have all been sentenced by the courts to carry out community work.
Jane Biddle, chairwoman of Greenfields Residents’ Association, said: “Graffiti is an eyesore and makes the estate look very uninviting. By getting offenders to clear it up, it gives them a sense of responsibility and a bit of respect for the area.
“If the estate looks better, it makes people feel better and the area more presentable.”
Luke Stanley, 19, is one of those paying back his debt to society. He said: “I think it’s a good idea to give something back to the community by cleaning up areas like this.
“I reckon it does make a difference. A number of people have said we’re doing a good job and it makes you feel better that you’re doing something.”
Probation Service manager Dave Cringle added: “The programme means local people can actually see community payback in action. We are also sending a message out to those who are contemplating this kind of vandalism that the graffiti will be removed.”