What Work Should Criminals Be Doing?

Your chance to vote for favourite projects

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Hammersmith and Fulham has become one of 54 Neighbourhood Crime and Justice Pioneer Areas, where the public are invited to have their say on the work they would like to see offenders carrying out.

The new scheme, launched this week by Justice Secretary Jack Straw and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, allows people

to vote on the Directgov website for local projects which

are part of the Community Payback scheme.

The project which receives the most votes will be given

priority. In Hammersmith and Fulham local people can

choose between five options: cleaning up Wormwood

Scrubs, maintaining and clearing Ravenscourt Park Nature Conservation Area, cleaning and hedge trimming at Lillie Road Recreational Ground, giving a facelift to St Paul's Open Space and St Mary's Church Yard or overhauling communal areas on Wormholt Estates.

People will also be invited to suggest other local projects in needs of help, such as renovating community centres or cleaning up graffiti.

This scheme, which is part of a larger government campaign called Justice Seen, Justice Done follows the launch of branded high-visibility jackets - dubbed bages of shame in some quarters - for offenders carrying our community work on Community Payback.

Jack Straw says: "It's crucial that the public – the taxpayer – has a say in what community punishments offenders receive. People have a right to know what offenders are doing in their neighbourhood to repay for the wrongs committed.  We are determined to open up the justice system."

The scheme follows recommendations from Neighbourhood Crime and Justice Adviser Louise Casey, who published a review called Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime last summer.

She says: "The public want to know that criminals are made to pay back for their crimes. Community Payback schemes make this a reality and, very importantly, they also now give the public a say in what criminals must actually do to serve their punishment and pay back to local communities."

April 1, 2009