Offenders on community payback scheme in the Fens help flood relief effort by filling more than 2,000 sandbags

Sandbags are being used in neighbouring Saffron Walden: on this occasion outside a block of flats th

Sandbags are being used in neighbouring Saffron Walden: on this occasion outside a block of flats that had been evacuated. - Credit: Archant

Offenders on a community work programme in March have filled thousands of sandbags which will be used to combat flooding elsewhere in the country.

About 20 offenders taking part in a community payback scheme filled more than 2,000 sandbags at the Cambridgeshire County Council highways depot in March.

The flood relief effort was organised by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Probation Trust (CPPT) who contacted the Environment Agency and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Local Resilience Forum to offer the help of their work teams.

Highways officer Brian Murdoch praised the speed with which the teams filled in sandbags to help prevent flooding.

He said: “The guys worked really hard and did about 10 pallet loads. We are very grateful and have thanked them and the supervisor.” Matthew Ryder, CPPT Director of Interventions, added: “This is a really good example of offenders giving something back to the community as part of their court punishment.

“The offenders working in this way can make a real difference at an anxious time.

“It not only helps those who are at risk from flooding, but it has its role to play in the rehabilitation of these men.

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“Both men and women on community payback orders carry out great work in the community with the support of our supervisors, learning new skills in some cases too, or putting the skills they have already to excellent use.”

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