Local Communities hoping to benefit from more visible justice

Monday, 29 June, 2009

Community Payback votes counted

A vote across England and Wales designed to give the public a greater say in how criminals should pay back the community took place on June 18.

The three-week vote through the Directgov website was part of the 'Justice Seen, Justice Done' campaign to raise awareness of Community Payback as a tough punishment for criminals, following the launch of branded high visibility orange jackets that offenders must now wear. The roll-out of visible Community Payback across England and Wales builds on a recommendation from the government's Crime and Justice Adviser Louise Casey's review, 'Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime', published a year ago outlining the importance of justice being visible. It seeks to improve the community's confidence in Community Payback as a punishment so that people will be more likely to come forward to report crime, give evidence in court and support their neighbours to do the same.

Every year over 55,000 criminals receive Community Payback - carrying out over six million hours of physical work on behalf of their communities to payback for their crimes. A poll of 1,000 people conducted by MORI in November 2008 found that more needed to be done to raise awareness of the scheme.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson also commented 'It is vital that the public see that justice is being done. By making it possible for the public to have their say on which projects offenders
should carry out in their communities, we are giving the law-abiding majority a voice, which in turn helps build their confidence in the criminal justice system. The key to ongoing success
is ensuring that the public continue to be aware of Community Payback and understand how they can get involved in seeing justice being done.

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