The Green Paper, “Breaking the Cycle”, contained proposals relating to community payback that have been confirmed by the Government. Plans are in place to implement these changes, and the results of the first competition to administer community payback in London will be announced shortly. My assessment is that this competition and the preparation for competitions in all other trusts have substantially improved all elements of operational delivery.
In Warwickshire, more than 63,000 hours of community payback are completed each year by offenders on a community sentence. They carry out projects such as litter removal, clearing undergrowth and removing graffiti—labour worth about £360,000. Does the Minister agree that in certain cases this is a worthwhile way for offenders to make a contribution to the society that they have harmed?
I agree with my hon. Friend. I understand that 179 organisations in Warwickshire benefited from community payback last year. Not only is there an opportunity to link with members of the public through the ability to nominate community payback schemes, but these nominations are now running at more than 1,000 a month.
Whether we have time or not, we will hear from Mr Simon Hughes.