CONVICTED criminals have clocked up 20,336 hours of unpaid work in the borough as they pay back their debt to society.
Figures from Northumbria Probation Trust reveal that community sentences dished out in South Tyneside resulted in £123,647 worth of work being carried out.
Jobs included removing graffiti, gardening and litter-picking.
Martyn Strike, director of community payback for Northumbria Probation Trust, said: “I am very pleased to see we were available to deliver almost £124,000 worth of work to communities across South Tyneside.
“It’s an excellent result for local people, providing a visible way to add value to local communities and making public areas cleaner, safer and more pleasant for everyone to enjoy.”
Last year, the trust formed a partnership with Bede’s World in Jarrow, where offenders undertake duties from gardening to catering.
In February, those sentenced by the courts, to carry out unpaid work, helped to spruce up fencing around St Oswald’s Church in Gainsborough Avenue, Whiteleas, South Shields.
Community Payback aims to punish offenders by depriving them of their free time and get them to carry out work that may otherwise not be done.
However, it also enables them to learn work discipline, employment-related skills and adopt a more positive attitude, helping them to focus on making other choices in their lives.
They can be sentenced to carry out between 40 to 300 hours of unpaid work.
Some of the work being carried out is in partnership with South Tyneside Council, while other work is undertaken for local charities, churches and community groups.
If you have a suitable Community Payback project in mind, visit www.northumbria-probation.co.uk.