Justice seen and done in Hackney

The River Lea Towpath has had a summer spruce-up thanks to the Community Payback scheme. Offenders on the scheme cut back weeds and cleared litter, shifting over 400 sacks of cuttings and rubbish in their four-week stint.

The Towpath was chosen by Hackney residents, voting as part of a Ministry of Justice campaign, Justice Seen, Justice Done, to give local people a say in what work offenders on the Community Payback scheme should carry out.

As part of a national campaign, residents were asked to vote on which of five local projects should be tackled first and Hackney residents chose the Towpath. The remaining projects - Bentley Road car park, Martel Place roundabout, the Wells Street/Wells St Market area and Hoxton Street Market – will be worked on in the coming months.

Cllr Alan Laing, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Community Payback ensures that offenders give something back to the communities they have affected, and this scheme is allowing people in our community a say in what work they should do.”

Local resident and keep fit instructor Katherine Charalambous said: “I take my children to the river Lea and it is a beautiful spot. Because so many people use it, it can always do with the extra clean up, and it is a way of Community Payback people putting something back into the local area”.

Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw said: “It is crucial that the public should have a say in the community punishments offenders receive and that they have a right to know what offenders are doing in their neighbourhood to repay for the wrongs committed. “

People can suggest further projects for Community Payback work on