Offenders to pay back the community through unpaid work

A town hall has joined with a rehabilitation company which enables offenders to pay back the community through unpaid work in their area.

The community payback scheme is for people whose offences require them to complete 200 to 250 hours of community service rather than serve a prison sentence.

The London Rehabilitation Company has teamed up with Greenwich council to let offenders to give back to the community and learn valuable life skills.

Byron Blake is the scheme’s supervisor and he supports his team to carry out a range of jobs, including street cleaning, graffiti removal, painting, and gardening.

Byron said: “By teaching our service users to paint, they are being equipped with valuable, lifelong skills which they can take with them into employment, voluntary work or even setting up their own business.”

Byron’s team has worked on the council’s Plumstead art project which involved them rubbing down and washing the walls in preparation for the mural painted by Sam Skinner and SLAM, artists from art group 9thseal – the mural covers Pettman underpass in Plumstead.

They tidied the area and cleared shrubs and weeds, some of which were more than 10 ft tall.

The scheme has a number of projects across the borough including the St Nicholas Church Gardens clean-up project, due to start this, month.

Councillor Jackie Smith, cabinet Member for community safety and integrated enforcement, said: “Taking part in this unpaid work to serve your community is a positive step in the right direction for offenders, and some of our local schools, community organisations, charities and communal areas are benefiting from this scheme.

“In Plumstead, Byron’s team have made a major contribution, particularly with the mural preparation which was commissioned to uplift the location and restore public confidence in the area.”

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