A trio of criminals have sparked fury by holding cans of beer and posing for selfies while decorating a home for community service.
One photograph posted online featured the men from Bradford each holding a can of Carling lager, with a caption reading: ‘Might as well have a few on unpaid work.’
Other pictures on Facebook appear to show the same men wearing their Community Payback vests while looking at their phones and posing with their thumbs up.
One photograph posted online featured the men from Bradford each holding a can of Carling lager, with a caption reading: ‘Might as well have a few on unpaid work’
The caption on another photo suggests the trio are enjoying their punishment, with one man posting: ‘Unpaid work time with the lads, the good times are back’
The caption on another photo suggests the trio are enjoying their punishment, with one man posting: ‘Unpaid work time with the lads, the good times are back.’
A further photo with a Community Payback vest in shot was captioned: ‘Want your rooms decorating (sic) by seven criminals? Cheap labour, just hide your valuables.’
Community Payback is handed out as a punishment by the courts in West Yorkshire. Offenders can carry out anything from 40 to 300 hours of unpaid work.
Those who run the programme have now vowed to investigate the circumstances. It could see the men being ordered to return to court and face further punishment.
Martin Davies, chief executive of the West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company, said: ‘This behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
A further photo with a Community Payback vest in shot was captioned: ‘Want your rooms decorating (sic) by seven criminals? Cheap labour, just hide your valuables’
‘We are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and action will be taken to ensure there is no repetition.
What is the Community Payback scheme?
Community Payback is a form of unpaid work that criminals can be sentenced to in West Yorkshire.
Offenders can be sentenced to complete anything between 40 and 300 hours on the scheme by magistrates or judges. It must include a minimum of one day’s work – lasting at least seven hours – once a week.
Criminals can also be sentenced to ‘intensive’ orders, meaning they must complete 28 hours of work each week.
Projects include maintaining the grounds of parks and churches, to helping to run clubs for the elderly and adults with learning difficulties.
Offenders who have been ‘rigorously risk assessed’ can also be placed directly with charities and community groups, according to the scheme.
‘Community Payback is a punishment made by the courts. We take pride in the way that we supervise people on their unpaid work orders, and this activity is not representative of the way we do the job.
‘All offenders are told at their induction that they are not allowed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at probation. In addition, they are also warned that mobile phones can only be used during their half-hour lunch break.
‘We cannot comment on individual cases, but when people are found to be breaking these rules, they will be breached for their activities and potentially re-sentenced at court.’
A concerned member of the public flagged up the problem, asking: ‘Would you say this is appropriate behaviour for criminals who are on probation?
‘Or that probation services would allow this on their time? Unpaid work is a punishment not a party.’
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: ‘This behaviour is clearly not what we would want or expect to see from anyone completing Community Payback.
‘I will be getting in touch with the West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company to look into this incident.’