A SCHEME which sees offenders carry out unpaid work as part of their sentence has been extended for three years.
The partnership between Worcestershire County Council and Warwickshire and West Mercia Community Rehabilitation Company, which will now run until March 2018, began in 2008 and has already been extended twice before.
It see offenders working across the county’s parks, nature reserves, green spaces and highways, with the team having their own specially adapted vehicle and experience personnel to train and supervise those taking part.
Coun Lucy Hodgson, responsible for localism and communities at the county, said the scheme was not only good for the community because spaces were improved but also because it contributed to a reduction in reoffending.
She added the offenders contributed around 7,900 hours of work a year which saved about £35,000.
Liz Stafford, chief executive of the rehabilitation company, added: “The benefit of community payback to the offenders is that if they are in work they are able to continue their employment and they are also able to maintain their personal relationships, neither of which would be possible if they were given a custodial sentence.
“However, more importantly, for some offenders it helps them on the way to adopting a more positive crime-free lifestyle which ultimately benefits society as a whole.”