A dedicated hotline has been set up so Bolton residents can have a say on how offenders should be punished for their crimes.
The Bolton Community Payback nomination scheme will enable members of the public to suggest areas which they think would benefit from an environmental clean-up.
The Community Payback team has always welcomed input from the public but from today, local residents can call the dedicated hotline on 01204 336500.
Potential schemes will be considered by Bolton Council’s community safety officers and Bolton’s Community Payback team and successful projects will be carried out by offenders on the Community Payback programme, whose punishment involves reparation work within the community.
The original nominator will receive notification of completion of the work to show that their suggestion was brought to fruition.
The idea has been launched following the success of Bolton’s participation in a national Community Payback scheme which saw members of the public voting for their favourite project from a selection of five.
The winning scheme – Churchgate subway – was announced on Thursday, June 18 and offenders have spruced up the surrounding area.
Executive member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, said: “Bolton was one of six Neighbourhood Crime and Justice Pioneer Areas across Greater Manchester to take part in the recent Community Payback voting scheme. However, we are the only one to drive the idea forward with a permanent hotline, which will enable members of the public to see offenders paying back for their crimes in a positive way.
“It is important that the public get involved in having a say on Community Payback and ultimately see justice being done. It’s also a good opportunity for people to help improve their community by nominating areas that need attention.”
Typical suggestions might include clearing paths, removing graffiti, street clean-ups, clearing up fly tipping and improving community facilities.
As well as contacting the dedicated telephone number, people can also nominate schemes by filling in a Community Payback postcard which will be available from UCAN Centres or by emailing the address above.
Beverley Phillips, Bolton’s Community Payback manager for the Greater Manchester Probation Trust, said: “I urge people to make full use of the hotline and to suggest projects in the borough which offenders could undertake.
“Having the community play an active role in the criminal justice system is crucially important.”