North Lanarkshire Council’s annual report gives a breakdown of 165,000 hours worth of community payback orders which have been imposed on minor offenders as an alternative to prison.
Liz Coates, who manages the council’s Justice Services team, said: “Community payback addresses offending behaviour, is value for money and community focused. This past year we’ve delivered projects across North Lanarkshire aimed at improving the lives of residents, of all ages, across all communities.
“The environmental and community projects we carry out are identified as priorities by the community and we work with our partners and community groups to roll these out. They impact positively, not just on our residents, but on the lives of offenders too by giving them a routine, purpose and skills.”
The types of work undertaken by offenders include making gardens more accessible to people with disabilities and producing garden furniture and landscaping, including at Stirling Road and Pirnie Place in Kilsyth.
Other local projects include spending 400 hours on repairing and restoring the Jeffrey Memorial in Kilsyth and constructing an outdoor classroom and other landscaping work at Whitelees Primary School in Cumbernauld. The school now has an amphitheatre, sensory garden, woodland walkway and vegetable beds.
Two new specialist services have also been created - the Women’s Community Justice Service and the Veterans Mentoring Service.