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Offenders providing financial benefit through community service work

Picture credited to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company

Offenders in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight working on community payback have contributed more than £500,000 back into their community.

The figures, from the county's Community Rehabilitation Company, also reveal nearly 74,000 hours of unpaid work was delivered between 2017 and 2018.

Magistrates or judges can sentence offenders to carry out anything from 40 to 300 hours of unpaid work as part of their order.

People can also be sentenced to intensive community payback orders, which mean they must complete 28 hours of work every week.

All projects combine hard work and the chance for the participant to develop skills. It is also a punishment as the individual is giving up their time to carry out the work.

Community sentences can be given for crimes including damaging property, benefit fraud and assault. They are often handed out by judges and magistrates when the offender is appearing at court for the first time or when it is thought such a sentence may be more likely to stop an offender committing crimes than a prison sentence.

Stephen Czajewski, Chief Operating Officer at HIOW CRC, said:

“Community payback provides a tough, effective and visible punishment requiring people to undertake challenging work while giving something back to communities where they live.

“It also provides an opportunity for people to turn their experience into a positive one by picking up new skills that can help them towards paid employment and leading more stable, positive and crime-free lives.”

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