Great British Spring Clean: Over 1,000 criminals scrub roads, subways to pay for crime

The offenders will put in over 10,000 hours across 300 projects this week

By Prasun Sonwalkar

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Reuters file for illustrative purposes
Reuters file for illustrative purposes

Published: Mon 28 Mar 2022, 1:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Mar 2022, 1:16 PM

It is that time of the year when spring is in the air with all its colours and delights, but also when over 1,000 criminals will wear high-viz jackets with the words ‘Community Payback’, and begin cleaning Britain’s roads, beaches and beauty spots to pay for their crimes.

Every year, courts in the United Kingdom hand down sentences that include over 50,000 Unpaid Work requirements to punish offenders for crimes including theft, criminal damage and alcohol-related incidents.

Wearing high-visibility jackets emblazoned with ‘Community Payback’ ensures offenders are seen to pay for their crimes while carrying out work that benefits the local community, including scrubbing graffiti-ridden subways.

Over 10,000 hours will be put in by the offenders in over 300 projects this week as part of the annual ‘The Great British Spring Clean’ drive.

Policing and Crime Minister Kit Malthouse visited St Boniface Church in Hampshire to see some of the offenders revitalising the church – painting and planting trees – for the benefit of the community.

Malthouse said: “To criminals, there are few stronger deterrents than a community that is able to take pride in their area. Safe neighbourhoods attract jobs and investment and let people thrive, free from crime."

“Getting offenders to pay for their crimes in a way that visibly benefits the community they have harmed is critical to making them think twice about tormenting their fellow citizens."

He added: “Offenders are involved in community projects around the country every day, and next week, to support this year’s Great British Spring Clean, we are mobilising more than a thousand to give criminals a chance to clean up their act, pay back our communities and show that justice is being done."


Projects in the clean-up include litter-picks on some of Wales’ most beautiful blue flag beaches in Anglesey and Dyfed Powys, besides tackling eyesores in Newham, London.

Officials said that over the next 3 years, the Boris Johnson Government is investing an extra £93 million into Community Payback which will see offenders completing eight million hours of unpaid work a year to improve the environment and revitalise towns and cities.

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