Falkirk Council: Making crime pay for communities

Communities are reaping the benefits of people placed on payback orders by the courts working on local projects.

Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 12:15 pm

Unpaid work orders gives individuals who have been convicted of an offence the opportunity to give back to local areas by undertaking projects that provide community benefits. The work is overseen by unpaid work supervisors based within Falkirk Council’s Justice Services.

Small, localised projects are eligible for help especially if they are concerned with community safety, reducing the fear of crime or environmental improvements to public spaces.

Two recent projects that have benefitted from the unpaid work have been the Bainsford War Memorial and in Anderson Park, Denny.

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Following a local campaign to install a war memorial, the team were involved in the salvage of ironworks from a housing demolition site in Bainsford and its re-installation at the war memorial location.

They also helped by erecting flag poles, installing benches they had created as well as some ground works.

The war memorial was recently formally recommissioned by Provost Robert Bissett.

A request from Inspire Denny and Dunipace to the team led to the clearance of a large stone planting bed in Anderson Park.

Unfortunately, the community group didn’t have the right tools or the numbers required to do the serious root system clearance to allow the planting of new bedding plants supplied by the council.

The unpaid work team were soon involved in deep digging work and had the planter entirely cleared and ready to be planted by the Inspire Denny and Dunipace Group.

Valerie Carson who is part of the group said: “"As a small community group, we're very ambitious about making our community a more attractive place to live. But all we have to work with are the tools and equipment provided by local residents from their own homes and some precious volunteering time.

“With the right tools and some hard graft, the community payback team managed to do in a few hours something that would've taken us several sessions to achieve! I'd definitely recommend that other community groups make use of their services."

Projects are fully assessed on their suitability beforehand and must be for community benefit and not for profit or for private individuals.

Contact the team at [email protected]