The Mayor of Havant praised probation at a special ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of Community Payback’s partnership with Havant Borough Council.
The Mayor, Councillor Peter Wade, was himself a probation officer before he moved into politics.
He visited staff from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC), people on probation and representatives from other agencies at an event hosted at St Clare’s Church in Warren Park so that he could learn more about how the project has helped beneficiaries and offenders.
Community Payback is a sentence made by the courts that enables people on probation to work in the community to make amends for their offences. HIOW CRC and the council formed the partnership in 1998.
The Mayor said: “Community Payback has helped rehabilitate those on probation by giving them a way to pay back their debt to society.
“I’m proud that Havant Borough Council has been able to help deliver such a successful scheme and I hope this partnership can continue long into the future.
“I worked in probation for almost 20 years and therefore know about the good work which the service delivers.”
Most recently, Community Payback teams have cleared litter, debris and vegetation from Warren Park, Leigh Park, Stockheath Common, Wecock, West Leigh – helping to make them more attractive places for residents to visit.
Jeff Harris, HIOW CRC’s placement coordinator, said: “We deploy our teams quickly and pride ourselves on being highly responsive. We clear fly-tipping, debris and vegetation to make the areas safe for children to play.
“Community Payback is for people who have broken the law, but it is also a way for participants to take pride in the positive work they have carried out and to help them successfully rehabilitate.”