Edinburgh residents are being asked to comment on a scheme that requires offenders to carry out unpaid work in the community as part of their sentence.
Community Payback Orders can be imposed on offenders by the courts as an alternative to a short prison term, and can last between six months and three years. They give those involved the chance to address their behaviour and also to repay communities by carrying out unpaid work.
The public consultation has been launched by the City of Edinburgh Council, which administers the scheme in the city. Views are being sought on offenders working in communities and the effectiveness of community payback as a way to reduce re-offending.
Examples of unpaid work carried out by the scheme include:
- Refurbishing rundown gravestones, including a memorial in Craigmillar to an abandoned baby;
- Maintaining the Vat Run mountain bike trail in South Queensferry;
- Clearing overgrown paths in Figgate Park;
- Building and filling flower planters for the Queen’s Baton route.
As well as using the questionnaire to comment on the community payback scheme, individuals and community groups can also recommend projects that may benefit from unpaid work through the online suggestion form.
All local authorities are legally required to carry out an annual consultation on the unpaid work aspect of community payback orders.
Community Safety Leader, Councillor Cammy Day, said: “We’re really keen to hear what people think about community payback orders, and the work carried out by the people subject to them.
“They are an excellent way for organisations such as charities to get practical help, and they give offenders the chance to repay communities for their offences.”