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Police and Crime Commissioner Impressed by Payback

Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner says he was “impressed” by the work people on community sentences with Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company have completed at a Margate project during his recent visit.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott visited the Garlinge Phoenix Project on Friday (28 February) where people on probation carrying out Community Payback have been working alongside volunteers to create a sensory garden for the public to enjoy.

He met with local councilor Emma Dawson, Police Community Support Officer Abbey Burnett, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company’s Assistant Chief Probation Officer Claire Jones, Community Payback Manager Donna Leigh and Community Payback Supervisor Dave Stevenson.

Teams of up to six people on Community Payback helped clear away debris and overgrown bushes. They also installed plant boxes.

David Heath, founder of the Garlinge Phoenix Project, said: “Without the efforts of Community Payback we would not have been able to achieve so much. Initially I was nervous about getting their help, but they have been great workers.”

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott said: “I was impressed with how much work everyone involved has put in over a short space of time. This is a great example of how a project can bring communities together, whilst also being an opportunity for those who have been involved in crime to put things right through Community Payback.

“I was enthused to hear about the ambitions of those involved and the great partnership working having already occurred between Thanet District Council, the probation service, Kent Police, the Scouts, and others. I hope to be able to support them in some way in the future.”

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company’s Assistant Chief Probation Officer Claire Jones said: “We are pleased to be making a difference to this community through the work of our teams.”

Community Payback is a sentence made by the court. It involves individuals completing unpaid work in the local community under the supervision of the probation service. The work might involve building and maintenance, painting and decorating or litter-picking and graffiti removal.

In the past year, people doing this sentence have painted and decorated community halls, refurbished schools and rejuvenated overgrown parks and alleyways. A grand total of 320,000 hours of service to the community was delivered by our teams to good causes across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The value of the work to organisations in labour alone was £2.6 million pounds.

Would you like to nominate a Community Payback project? See our Community Payback page for more information.