OFFENDERS working in their communities after being sentenced have contributed thousands of hours in Hampshire.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC), which is responsible for supervising offenders on community payback, delivered more than 17,000 hours in the first quarter of 2018.

With the national wage standing at £7.83 that equates to work worth £135,000.

Those ordered to take on unpaid community payback work participate in a range of manual tasks, including removing graffiti, litter picking, clearing parks and cemeteries, renovating buildings and work in charity shops.

Magistrates or judges can sentence offenders to carry out anything from 40 to 300 hours of unpaid work as part of their order. Community payback must include a minimum of a day’s work – lasting at least seven hours – once a week.

People can also be sentenced to intensive community payback, 28 hours of work every week.

All projects combine hard work and the chance for the participant to develop skills.

Stephen Czajewski, chief executive of HIOW CRC, said: “Community payback provides a tough, effective and visible punishment requiring people to undertake challenging work while giving something back to communities where they live.”