It’s payback time for Hertsmere offenders

CRIMINALS have been in Potters Bar to clean up their act – literally.

Offenders who have been sentenced to carry out community service have been ordered to keep the borough cleaner and greener.

A team was in Potters Bar on Monday last week to blitz the Oakmere estate, picking up litter and sweeping paths.

Another group will be planting trees in Parkfield in the coming months.

The work is all part of Hertfordshire Probation Service’s Community Payback programme.

This scheme sees criminals carrying out environmental improvements in the area in which they offended, as a way of giving something back.

Project manager Kerrie Eastman said: “Offenders on the Community Payback programme have been given community orders by the courts which means their punishment is working in the community for a set amount of hours – anything from 40 to 300.

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“Community orders tend to be given to lesser-risk offenders convicted of things like theft, fraud, drink-related violence and driving offences.

“Offenders who receive this form of punishment are assessed as suitable to serve their sentence in the community and then matched to suitable projects.

“We monitor them throughout the programme and supervise teams while they’re out in the community.”

Mrs Eastman added community service sentences were much more effective than sending such offenders to prison.

“Community orders are tough and challenging as the work is often physical and offenders have to adhere to certain rules.

“They have shown to be more effective at reducing re-offending than short term prison sentences.”

* If you have any ideas on what the team could do to improve your local area, contact Hertsmere Borough Council on 020 8207 7519 or email

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