Payback scheme puts offenders to good use

Community Payback assisting the local community near Albert street ,Superviser Patrick Umpleby and Roger Burnett lead the group with Friends A2 group and Council staff supporting.Picture Richard Ponter 123018

Community Payback assisting the local community near Albert street ,Superviser Patrick Umpleby and Roger Burnett lead the group with Friends A2 group and Council staff supporting.Picture Richard Ponter 123018

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Offenders have helped to spruce-up Scarborough as part of a council-backed scheme to allow criminals to payback their community.

The Community Payback team got to work on a new project near Albert Street last week as the project continues to be rolled out throughout the district.

Supervised offenders worked alongside council staff and members of the Friends A2 group to undertake general maintenance, as well as cleaning the area.

The group have already assisted with several Yorkshire In Bloom bids, and in the last month alone, they have painted public toilets, worked in charity shops and carried out gardening work in Scarborough.

Much of the work undertaken by the group is from requests made by Scarborough Council, saving the cash-strapped authority thousands of pounds.

Despite that, scheme supervisor Roger Burnett prefers to think the project “adds value” rather than saves money.

And Mr Burnett also lavished praise on the offenders, adding: “They are a great bunch of lads. We work very closely with them, and they make a real effort.”

The scheme is designed to punish those who have committed less-serious crimes by putting them back to work in the community.

It’s designed as an alternative to prison, with the aim of passing on much-needed skills sets, with the hope that those out of work will have a better chance of securing a job at the end of it.

In fact, one offender made such a good impression, they were kept permanently once they had finished their sentence.

Mr Burnett believes that, most importantly, the scheme instils a work ethic into the offenders, some of whom have never worked before,

And he knows a thing or two about hard work. Mr Burnett regularly works seven days a week, often giving up his evenings and free time for the good of the town.

“I do give up a lot of my spare time, but it’s because I really want to see Scarborough sparkling,’ said Mr Burnett.

“If other people are giving up their time, I just feel that I should also be doing my bit.”

The scheme has been praised from various groups and organisations, who have submitted letters of thanks to the group.