Essex County Council to help offenders and communities

ESSEX County Council has launched an initiative to rehabilitate offenders and provide payback to communities.

The council has unveiled a Community Payback Bus – a vehicle to provide facilities for teams so they can carry out projects in remote areas that would otherwise be deemed unviable.

Cabinet member with responsibility for community safety Tracey Chapman said: “We are really pleased to be able to provide funding for such a worthwhile project.

“Community Payback initiatives give offenders multiple opportunities: not only do they payback the community for the crimes they have committed but the scheme also allows them to gain real valuable skills that will help put them on a path away from re-offending and into training and employment.”

Funds have come from the council and the bus will be operated on a day-to-day basis by environmental charity BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers).

It will also be available for volunteers working with BTCV when not being used for Community Payback projects.

Ben Hammond of BTCV added: “This new vehicle is a fantastic resource for the project.

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“Its facilities will widen the opportunities we have to offer offenders so they can learn new skills whilst improving local environments for Essex people and wildlife.

“This allows us to build on the excellent partnership between BTCV, Essex County Council and Essex probation and will help change people’s lives for the better.”

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