The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has supported the Golden Shovel Community Payback anniversary.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Community Payback scheme, which sees offenders work on projects to pay back to the community for the crimes they have committed. A series of events are taking place across the country to mark the anniversary, celebrate the work of staff, and highlight the positive impact of projects in local communities.

The anniversary is focused on the Golden Shovel, used as a symbol of the scheme. The Shovel is on a nationwide tour to the twelve different probation areas, and recently came to South Yorkshire.

As part of the anniversary events, the VRU visited a project in Greasbrough, where an area of allotments has been transformed by offenders working under the scheme.

Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said:

“As a former senior manager in the Probation Service, I understand the valuable role Community Payback schemes can play.

“Not only do placements promote the rehabilitation of offenders, teaching employment skills, and the value of work, they also make a tangible difference to the communities which have been affected by offending in the first place.

“As this year marks 50 years of Community Payback, it is right that its role in our criminal justice system is recognised and celebrated, and I’m pleased that the VRU could support efforts to do just that.”

Read more about the Community Payback 50th anniversary here.