Payback time for local yobs

Vandals and drink drivers made to pick up litter

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Vandals, graffiti artists and drink drivers are being forced to pick up litter and remove graffiti as part of Hammersmith & Fulham Council's zero tolerance crackdown on crime.

Godolphin Gardens in Shepherd's Bush has been transformed by a team of offenders convicted for a range of crimes from criminal damage to drink driving.

Commenting on the community payback scheme operating in Hammersmith & Fulham Cllr Greg Smith, cabinet member for crime & anti-social behaviour, said, "The mindless criminals who take something out of society through
their reckless behaviour are now being made to put something back. Cracking down on the yob culture and destructive behaviour of these criminals is central to our zero tolerance approach."

The offenders painted railings around the children's play area of Godolphin Gardens as well as trimming the hedges and repairing a broken bench and plinth.

Cathy Maund, Hammersmith Community Gardens Association Manager, said, "We're delighted with the work we got done through the community payback scheme. The offenders worked one day a week for a month and
completely transformed our garden. It simply wouldn't have happen without their work."

The scheme, which is a joint operation between the police safer neighbourhood teams, probation service and Hammersmith & Fulham Council, now gives residents a chance to have their say on how offenders should try to make amends for their crimes.

Cllr Smith continues, "Whilst schemes like this are not a replacement for tougher prison sentences they are one way we can force criminals to make some attempt at paying residents back for the harm they have caused. This is an added weapon in the fight against crime and
residents can now choose the type of unpaid work offenders carry out."

If you have a project that offenders on the community payback scheme could work on please call Hammersmith & Fulham Council Community Safety Unit on 020 8753 2816 or email csu@lbhf.gov.uk

August 21, 2006