Criminals clean-up!

Recent work to relay the patio area means Eastwood Hill House residents can enjoy sitting outside this summer.
Recent work to relay the patio area means Eastwood Hill House residents can enjoy sitting outside this summer.

CRIMINAL offenders have been tidying up the local area as part of the new community payback orders.

Launched by the Scottish government, the orders see East Renfrewshire council work with offenders in a bid to reduce their likelihood of committing future crimes.

The new scheme means offenders will be working for the benefit of the community to help the area’s organisations and projects.

Councillor Douglas Yates, convener for health and social care, said: “Short prison sentences can lead to a revolving door for many offenders.

“We need to address Scotland’s re-offending rate for individuals who are in and out of prison and commit more crime in communities upon their release”.

Residents will soon be given a say on the type of work they want to see offenders carrying out in their area.

The scheme is focusing on the individual and their community reintegration.

And it also means that the community is gaining from the work carried out by individuals.

Councillor Yates added: “Evidence shows getting offenders to work as part of their community, and supporting this with rehabilitation, works far better than short-term prison sentences and stops them committing further crimes.

“Community payback gives individuals the opportunity to visibly make a positive difference to communities”.

In Barrhead, the work carried out to maintain groundwork and construct a pathway from the rear to the front of the Pulse FM building was part of the initiative.

And at Eastwood Hill House, Giffnock, the home’s patio was re-laid, garden furniture cleaned and gardens maintained as part of the order.

The 24-hour residential care home for the elderly also had a new disabled access path put down to give residents in wheelchairs easy entry to and from the building.

The community payback scheme was launched for various reasons.

Statistics showed prison sentences of three months or less are not reducing reoffending and almost three out of every four offenders who serve short sentences end up committing another crime within two years.

The government says short-term prisoners are a strain on the prison system and short periods give prisons no real time to address the underlying causes of re-offending behaviour.