News story

New approach to Community Payback begins in London

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new approach to Community Payback that will see offenders completing tougher, more intensive punishments begins today. Serco, …

A new approach to Community Payback that will see offenders completing tougher, more intensive punishments begins today in London.

Serco, with London Probation Trust, will run Community Payback so it better tackles reoffending and delivers greater value for money.

The four-year London contract will save taxpayers £25 million and ensure:

  • Community Payback begins within days of sentencing
  • Offenders work seven hour days as a minimum requirement
  • Better links with communities so offenders pay back in the area, or even street, their crime was committed in
  • Unemployed offenders work over four full days a week with a fifth day spent job seeking
  • Swift, robust action is taken against offenders who misbehave or fail to attend.

Jeremy Wright, Minister for Probation, said:

‘Community Payback is a sound principle, with offenders being punished through unpaid work in the neighbourhoods where they have brought misery and fear. But it is not meeting its full potential and does not always command public confidence.  

‘This partnership will bring innovation and deliver a tougher, swifter Community Payback service that offers real value for the taxpayer.’

Jeremy Stafford, Chief Executive of Serco UK & Europe CEO, said:

‘We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver this crucial public service for London. With our partners in London Probation Trust we can make Community Payback a really effective part of the criminal justice system, giving offenders challenging and demanding work which will directly benefit the communities affected by their crimes.

‘Serco is proud to play a part in making justice visible and efficient and to help break the cycle of re-offending.’

More than 15,000 offenders are ordered to carry out Community Payback each year in London.

Community Payback sees offenders carrying out tough physical unpaid work in high visibility jackets so communities can clearly see them paying back. Projects include renovating community centres, clearing rivers banks and removing graffiti from public spaces.