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Criminals save taxpayers £270k in community payback
Criminals in Brighton and Hove saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds in just one year. Burglars, fraudsters, shoplifters and petty crooks helped clear paths of snow, weed allotments and work in Moulsecoomb and Whitehawk.
They carried out the work, known as Community Payback, as part of their sentences.
Over the past 12 months, the offenders worked for 43,692 hours.
If they had been paid even the minimum wage for the time, it would have cost more than £270,000.
Among the jobs done was £100,000 of work for Brighton and Hove City Council.
It included clearing litter, removing graffiti, redecorating community and communal facilities, working on gardens and allotments and clearing overgrown paths.
Offenders worked in charity shops, community furniture warehouses and community not-for–profit groups such as Stanmer Park Organics.
They also helped to care for war graves in Worthing, painted Silverdale and Cavendish Schools in Eastbourne and dug out a wildlife pond in Hailsham.
A Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust spokesman said: “We work with partner agencies such as the police and council, charitable groups and directly with the public to identify work and projects to be completed by offenders as part of their court punishment.
“Criteria for Community Payback projects is that they should benefit the community and, ideally, contribute to making people feel safer.
“We prioritise projects which have been directly nominated by members of the public, either through residents associations, the police and local authority or directly through our website.
“Offenders are at work seven days a week in Brighton and Hove – either in supervised groups of up to ten or as single placements.
“Working on projects which directly benefit communities which have been affected by crime is an excellent way for offenders to repay their debt to society.”