Over £85k worth of work by Community Service offenders

Cheryl Lamont, chief executive of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.
Picture By: Arthur Allison; Pacemaker.
Cheryl Lamont, chief executive of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison; Pacemaker.

Projects in Coleraine and Ballymoney have benefited from work carried out by offenders on Community Service.

Probation figures compiled for 2016/17 show that offenders in the North Antrim area have completed 11,400 hours of unpaid work - over £85,500 worth - to assist local communities.

Cheryl Lamont, Probation’s chief executive, said, “Probation works by changing lives for safer communities and Community Service is a key element in our work. It is a visible and practical method of ensuring offenders pay something back to the community while helping them to develop skills they can use in the future which will prevent them continuing in a cycle of crime.

“Community Service is one of the most successful court sentences in terms of preventing re-offending. Three out of four people who complete community service do not re-offend within one year.”

Grainne Teague, Probation area manager for North Antrim, said: “We supervise offenders who work on a range of projects including environmental clean ups, painting and decorating premises used by community groups, grass cutting and general maintenance.

“These projects include Corrymeela, Ashes to Gold, work in Cloughmills, the Vineyard in Coleraine, and Riding for the Disabled.

We also work with the local councils and provide assistance through Policing and Community Safety Partnerships to develop projects that target the effects of criminal and anti-social behaviour like graffiti removal or neighbourhood clean ups.

If any community group or member of the public has an idea for a project they can nominate at www.pbni.org.uk or email: communityservice@pbni.gsi.gov.uk