Offenders carrying out Community Service Orders are making good use of their time while completing their sentence.
The government has revealed that recent projects worked on have included a cycle trail and children’s play area at Archallagan Plantation, a new wildlife garden at Scoill Phurt Le Moirrey and helping Beach Buddies clear litter from the coast.
Weekend work groups have helped rejuvenate beauty spots by cleaning beaches, glens and highways across the island, often working with sports clubs, companies and volunteers.
Tasks such as painting, litter picking, gardening and general maintenance are often completed on behalf of a charitable trust or non-profit making organisation.
Community Service Orders are handed down by courts as an alternative to custodial sentences and require individuals to perform unpaid work in their own time.
Projects encourage offenders to make amends in a way that benefits local communities.
Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK said: ‘We are currently leading a major reform of the island’s criminal justice system, which is aimed at improving key policy areas in respect of crime prevention and sentencing.
‘I believe that community service orders have an important role to play as part of the overall mix of traditional sentencing options and newer approaches, such as restorative justice.
‘Community Service Orders are a good example of how offenders can be held accountable for their actions in a way that benefits our society. They are certainly not a soft option and support our efforts to address reoffending and maintain public safety.’
Bill Dale, founder of Beach Buddies, said: ‘We have had numerous community service work groups helping at our team events, and they have gone through the same learning curve as our volunteers.
‘It’s fair to say a lot of people are sceptical about clearing up rubbish left by others, but when they get involved and see the difference it makes, they all go home with a smile on their face.’
Organisations wishing to discuss potential projects for community service work groups can contact David Martin, probation service officer, on 687325 or email email@example.com