Local stations benefit from offenders spending their community payback hours improving the station environment.
Courts are given the power to sentence offenders of certain crimes to undertake between 40 and 300 hours of Community Payback. This work is unpaid and demanding is designed to give something to local communities, forcing offenders to repay the community for the wrong they have done.
The Community Payback Service first assisted with projects to improve local stations in the Severnside Community Rail Partnership region in 2006. During the early days of the Partnership many local stations were in poor condition; supervised groups of around ten offenders were deployed on an ad-hoc basis to clear overgrown vegetation and construct planters from old railway sleepers The planters are looked after by local volunteers and station adoption groups.
Stations are now in a much better condition, however our partnership with Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Community Rehabilitation Company continues. Each Monday we deploy groups of around four offenders to visit local stations and assist with enhancing the environment. Their tasks include ground preparation, planting, weeding, watering station flower beds, painting railings and the community meeting room at Weston-super-Mare was re-plastered and painted under the scheme. Offenders work under the supervision of a Community Payback Supervisor who directly employed by the Partnership.
Around 1400 hours of are spent at stations each year, making the scheme of great value to both the rail industry and the communities each station serves.
Offenders participating in station projects are classified as being low risk to the public