A good use of their time

PAYBACK: Lorraine Slater, Community Payback practice manager (Burnley) for Lancashire Probation Trust with two offenders on Community Payback working to clear litter in Burnley Wood (S)

PAYBACK: Lorraine Slater, Community Payback practice manager (Burnley) for Lancashire Probation Trust with two offenders on Community Payback working to clear litter in Burnley Wood (S)

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OFFENDERS may be used to clear snow and ice as part of a payback scheme as punishment for their crime.

Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire Probation Trust have been running the scheme since autumn whereby offenders given community sentence orders by the courts carry out litter-picking and remove fly-tipping from public areas across the borough.

The Community Payback teams may be used to clear snow and ice over the winter if conditions worsen.

The offenders are supervised by Probation Trust staff and wear orange hi-visibility vests branded with the words Community Payback to identify them.

Coun. Neil Mottershead, the council’s Executive member for community safety and a member of Burnley Community Safety Partnership, said: “I think most people would support the idea that, in appropriate circumstances, if someone does something wrong they should give something back to the community.

“Community Payback gets those offenders sentenced to community service to work on behalf of local communities by cleaning up litter and fly-tipping from public areas.”

Attendance is recorded and if offenders fail to attend or their work is unacceptable they could be sent back to court as a result of breaching their order.

Since the scheme started Community Payback offenders have carried out almost 1,500 hours of litter picking.

Lorraine Slater, Community Payback practice manager Burnley for Lancashire Probation Trust, said: “Offenders often have chaotic lifestyles which could be one factor which leads them to commit crimes, but Community Payback gives offenders a routine and some structure, and gets them used to following instructions and working as a team which can help change their behaviour.”

Community Payback is a punishment handed out by the courts.

Burnley Council has signed an initial 12-month agreement to take part in the scheme, which will be reviewed at its conclusion. Teams of up to eight people work seven hours a day.

PAYBACK: Lorraine Slater, Community Payback practice manager (Burnley) for Lancashire Probation Trust with two offenders on Community Payback working to clear litter in Burnley Wood (S)