Surge in payback work by offenders

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OFFENDERS worked nearly 350,000 hours on community payback projects last year contributing £820,000 in free labour to communities across North Yorkshire – a figure that has doubled in the past 12 months.

The latest figures, from the York and North Yorkshire Probation Trust which yesterday published its Community Payback annual report, show during 2011, 988 offenders successfully completed the scheme working on more than 100 projects throughout the county.

The number is a huge rise compared to the previous year when 125,000 hours were completed.

Mike Ryan, director of the Probation Trust, said: “Over the last year our dedicated Community Payback teams have once again demonstrated resilience, commitment and professional skills in managing offenders in the community. The variety of projects they undertake is vast and varied – from supporting local charity shops, to helping schools, and churches and local community groups across the county.

“Research shows that among offenders given community sentences, those in employment are significantly less likely to reoffend.”