Community Payback

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Community Payback is where offenders work on projects to pay back the community for their crimes. Residents can have a say in where that work happens by nominating places they feel would benefit.

What is Community Payback?

Courts are able to impose between 40-300 hours of Unpaid Work depending on the seriousness of an offence.

The delivery of an Unpaid Work requirement is known as Community Payback and is managed and delivered by the Probation Service. This is a visible punishment which tangibly improves local areas that have been harmed by crime and allows the public to see justice being done. 

Community Payback can include:

  • Removing graffiti
  • Clearing wasteland
  • Decorating public places and buildings (e.g. a community centre)

Individuals will usually work in their local area.  They wear a high visibility orange vest while they work and are managed by a Community Payback supervisor.

Nominate a Community Payback project

You can nominate a Community Payback project to suggest what unpaid work is carried out by offenders in your local area.

The work must:

  • Benefit the local community
  • Not take paid work away from others
  • Not make a profit for anyone

How to make a nomination

Email your nomination to HM Prison and Probation Service at

In your nomination, you must include the following:

  • The name of the project or organisation
  • Where the work would take place
  • A short description of the work to be done
  • Your contact details

What happens next

You will receive an acknowledgement within 2 days to say that your nomination has been received. Your project will then be assessed to see if it’s suitable and you’ll be told if and when work can start on it.