Offenders put to work on new allotments

Plans for new allotments for Nythe are underway. Pictured is Coun Dale Heenan, right, with

Plans for new allotments for Nythe are underway. Pictured is Coun Dale Heenan, right, with

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

OFFENDERS who are carrying out community service are assisting green-fingered residents by tidying allotments in East Swindon as part of their punishment.

The Probation Service have agreed to set up a community payback scheme with the group who run the Nythe allotments, meaning those made to do the service will help to transform the land before gardeners start running the site.

Work has already started which will see trees cut back and the ground transformed so it can be used for growing.

Gordon Wragg, the Comm-unity Payback manager for Wiltshire, said the allotments were exactly the type of project the probation service look for.

He said: “When we are looking at projects to become involved in there has to be some level of community benefit.

“This for us is perfect. It is highly visible so people can see, the allotments get improved while it is also hard work.

“The Community Payback system is a very effective way of getting offenders to make amends for what they have done to those most affected.

“It is not just a day outside because it will involve hard work.”

Community Payback is an alternative to custody where a person undertakes Community Service for between 40 and 300 hours and they must wear a high visibility orange vest while working. If someone is unemployed then they must work three or four days a week or will be arranged for evenings and weekends if they have a job.

“We are growing fruit and vegetables which we then supply to the hospital and soup kitchens in the town,” said Gordon.

Local councillor Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan) has been helping residents to get the allotments up and running. He said: “The Probation Service have been very enthusiastic about helping the new Nythe allotments by including the project in Community Payback.

“This will be physically demanding work which is a visible punishment that will benefit the whole community.”

Comments (6)

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8:47am Mon 30 Jun 14

Sandor Clegane says...

It's funny, really, that some people wait years to be given an allotment and then view working on their patch, often in the sun of summer, as a relaxing and enjoyable pastime.


“It is not just a day outside because it will involve hard work.”


It really is like something from a Monty Python sketch - "Don't commit crime, or we may make you pick a few weeds".
It's funny, really, that some people wait years to be given an allotment and then view working on their patch, often in the sun of summer, as a relaxing and enjoyable pastime. [quote] “It is not just a day outside because it will involve hard work.” [/quote] It really is like something from a Monty Python sketch - "Don't commit crime, or we may make you pick a few weeds". Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 4

1:37pm Mon 30 Jun 14

house on the hill says...

Very good idea. More convicts should be made to give something back to the society they have so much contempt for (and who are paying to provide their room and board and gym and sat tv etc!)
Very good idea. More convicts should be made to give something back to the society they have so much contempt for (and who are paying to provide their room and board and gym and sat tv etc!) house on the hill
  • Score: -1

2:54pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Sandor Clegane says...

house on the hill wrote:
Very good idea. More convicts should be made to give something back to the society they have so much contempt for (and who are paying to provide their room and board and gym and sat tv etc!)
You think a suitable sentence and punishment for convicted criminals is a spot of light gardening?
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: Very good idea. More convicts should be made to give something back to the society they have so much contempt for (and who are paying to provide their room and board and gym and sat tv etc!)[/p][/quote]You think a suitable sentence and punishment for convicted criminals is a spot of light gardening? Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

4:18pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Peter Mallinson says...

It is a pity that we cannot get any help to clean out the shrubs and rubbish surrounding the library in Sussex Square.

We, by that I mean the volunteers at the shop and library are fed up with working in an environment of neglect and rubbish.

We have tried to involve voluntary groups, the council and the various departments of youth community work with absolutely no results.

The council are just not interested in keeping their own land tidy. However they are very quick to comment on tenants gardens etc.
It is a pity that we cannot get any help to clean out the shrubs and rubbish surrounding the library in Sussex Square. We, by that I mean the volunteers at the shop and library are fed up with working in an environment of neglect and rubbish. We have tried to involve voluntary groups, the council and the various departments of youth community work with absolutely no results. The council are just not interested in keeping their own land tidy. However they are very quick to comment on tenants gardens etc. Peter Mallinson
  • Score: 1

7:30pm Mon 30 Jun 14

morris 1 says...

Excuse me - I would have thought that clearing the roundabouts in Swindon of overgrown shrubbery would have been more of a priority, these need doing badly, sooner or later there will be accidents waiting to happen
Excuse me - I would have thought that clearing the roundabouts in Swindon of overgrown shrubbery would have been more of a priority, these need doing badly, sooner or later there will be accidents waiting to happen morris 1
  • Score: 1

8:58pm Mon 30 Jun 14

MARTINDOWDS says...

i am sure there are enough Criminals to get all this done.
the argument is not why are they doing this or that, the argument is why are they not doing all of it. 3 or 4 days a week if unemployed. pmsl should be 6 days a week (alternate days off in groups to goto job centre).
on a positive not it is great to see something other than Houses being built on land.
i am sure there are enough Criminals to get all this done. the argument is not why are they doing this or that, the argument is why are they not doing all of it. 3 or 4 days a week if unemployed. pmsl should be 6 days a week (alternate days off in groups to goto job centre). on a positive not it is great to see something other than Houses being built on land. MARTINDOWDS
  • Score: 0

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