Clean-up scheme expanded nationwide to tackle anti-social behaviour

Communities blighted by vandalism and fly-tipping will be cleaned up by offenders as part of delivering on plans to crackdown on anti-social behaviour

  • offenders to carry out hotspot clean-ups within 48 hours after successful pilot
  • up to £93 million invested into Community Payback to improve the environment and revitalise our towns and cities
  • latest push part of government’s plan to crackdown on anti-social behaviour

Rapid Deployment teams - made up of offenders serving Community Payback sentences – will be on call to swiftly deal with notorious instances of anti-social behaviour across the country after a successful pilot.

Members of the public are being invited to nominate projects in their local area which will see offenders carrying out hard graft such as picking litter from roadsides, scrubbing graffiti from underpasses or shopfronts, and maintaining neighbourhood beauty spots within 48 hours of cases being reported to the Probation Service.

Community Payback ensures offenders visibly atone for their crimes in a way that benefits the law-abiding majority and allows the public to see justice being done in their own communities.

The scheme is now being expanded to all 12 Probation regions in England and Wales, meaning it will continue to directly benefit areas known to be among the worst affected by anti-social behaviour in the country including in London, the East Midlands, and the North West.

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk KC, said:

"Anti-social behaviour undermines people’s sense of pride in their communities and makes them feel unsafe in the place they call home. That’s why this government is taking a zero-tolerance approach with our plan to stamp it out.

"Our plan is working, with clean-up teams not only tackling the corrosive effect of such crimes but also forcing offenders to repay their debts to the very neighbourhoods they have harmed – cutting reoffending and making our streets safer."

It forms part of the government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, which was published in March 2023, to ensure perpetrators face swift and visible justice.

Since its launch, over 100,000 hours of extra police patrols have helped reduce anti-social behaviour in hotspot areas and dedicated safety officers are now more present than ever on local transport systems to enhance public safety and help prevent violence against women and girls.

The expansion comes as thousands of offenders will spend two weeks giving back to give back to the communities they have harmed in a concerted, nationwide clean-up.

Thousands of offenders on Community Payback will put in more than 12,000 hours of physical labour clearing tonnes of litter across 400 projects in support of Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign, the “Great British Spring Clean”.

Prisons and Probation Minister, Ed Argar, said:

"Community Payback forces offenders to clean up their act and pay back society for the damage they have done on our high streets, local areas and much-valued green spaces.

"Forcing thousands of them to take part in a nationwide clean-up restores a sense of pride in our communities and helps deter criminals from vandalising our towns and cities."

Each year, courts hand down more than 50,000 Unpaid Work requirements to punish offenders for crimes including theft, criminal damage and alcohol-related offences.  

We are investing up to £93 million into Community Payback which will see offenders completing millions of Unpaid Work hours each year to improve the environment and revitalise our towns and cities.  

The Community Payback website has been relaunched, making it far easier for members of the public to report anti-social behaviour and nominate potential projects in their neighbourhoods.

This will work alongside the government’s new reporting tool that allows members of the public to quickly and easily report incidents of anti-social behaviour when they take place.

From: Ministry of Justice, HM Prison and Probation Service, The Rt Hon Alex Chalk KC MP, and The Rt Hon Edward Argar MP