Canal & River Trust to run government's community payback scheme for offenders

The Canal & River Trust is to take part in the government’s flagship community payback scheme, which will see offenders clean up hundreds of miles of rivers and canals across England and Wales.

The move is part of a £93m investment by the government to increase the number of community work punishments for offenders over the next three years.

This has a focus on outdoor projects “that help improve the environment and allow the public to see justice being done”, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Offenders will be forced to wear “high visibility 'Community Payback' tabards" while they work.

The deal with the Canal & River Trust will see offenders tidy tow paths and maintain beauty spots along 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales.

“The move is designed to restore the public’s confidence in community sentences by ensuring offenders are visibly atoning for their crimes in a way which benefits local people,” said the Ministry of Justice.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab added: “It is right that the offenders who have damaged their communities should be seen to pay back with their time and some hard graft.

“With new projects such as the one run by The Canal & River Trust offenders will learn new skills and do their bit clearing and maintaining our country’s waterways.”

The charity's involvement in the government's initiative is an expansion of local community payback link ups between the Trust and probation services in the West Midlands and London.

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