Offenders, ordered to carry out community work, have rolled up their sleeves to clear rubbish that has been dumped on and around the land surrounding Selby’s newest community asset, Selby Leisure Centre.
Community Payback is a punishment for breaking the law, which involves offenders working on projects that benefit the community.
Teams of up to eight offenders, supervised by The Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company, have helped to make over the area by filling up dozens of sacks of rubbish and cutting back overgrown vegetation – ensuring that the leisure centre environment is an attractive and enjoyable place to visit.
Ed Gray, York and Selby Community Payback Manager, The Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company Limited, explains more:
“The team has been working hard by undertaking activities which are noticeably improving the area – such as litter picking, footpath edging and clearing overgrown public areas near the new leisure centre.
“Community Payback is a punishment for breaking the law, but it is also a way for offenders to learn new skills and to support their rehabilitation. Working on this and other similar projects across Selby means offenders not only give something back to the community but it teaches them valuable practical skills and techniques to take away for the future.”
Heather Kennedy, Sport Development Officer, Team Leader Community Sport and Active Lifestyles, Selby District said:
“Community Payback has done a brilliant job for us in getting those big jobs done that we just can’t find time for.”
Community Payback is a nationwide project where offenders pay back communities for the crimes they have committed whilst serving community sentences. Residents can choose the type of projects offenders carry out in their community as part of an unpaid work sentence.
The Community Payback team is no stranger to the Selby area, as the team already frequently undertake work on behalf of the District and Town Council.
Cllr Dave Peart , Selby District Council’s executive member with responsibility for housing, leisure, health and culture, explains more:
“The Payback team regularly maintains areas of the town by litter picking, painting street furniture or cleaning overgrown vegetation for instance – and we often receive comments from local residents commenting that the town is looking lovely. This is due, in no small part, to all the hard work and efforts of the supervisors and the teams that work there.”
Offenders must wear bright orange high-visibility jackets, marked ‘Community Payback’ while they are working. The jackets mean residents can visibly see that they are paying back for their crimes.
Between January 2016 and February 2016, offenders in York and Selby completed over 4,000 hours of unpaid work, on projects which might not otherwise be completed.