New ‘Community Service’ Deploys Army of Criminals to Fix Britain’s Pothole Plague

New ‘Community Service’ Deploys Army of Criminals to Fix Britain’s Pothole Plague

Britain’s pothole problem is set to be addressed through a new initiative that will see offenders from the South West region repairing roads as part of their community sentence. In a pioneering move, criminals will be trained to carry out this work, which will be closely monitored by the Probation Service. This marks the first time in the UK that road repairs will form part of a criminal sentence.

The scheme, expected to commence in October, has secured the support of Justice Secretary Alex Chalk. It is anticipated that the program could be expanded nationwide if successful. Potholes have cost drivers approximately £500 million in vehicle repairs last year, highlighting the urgency of this initiative.

The idea was proposed by Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, who has been advocating for additional funding to address the area’s deteriorating roads. Despite securing an extra £9.3 million for pothole repairs, Hernandez believes that more needs to be done. Devon County Council currently has a volunteer-based program for minor pothole repairs, and Hernandez is now exploring the possibility of involving offenders in unpaid road repair work.

The region’s extensive rural road network, which spans 13,500 miles, presents a significant challenge. Hernandez sees the initiative as a way to engage communities in the justice process and provide visible payback for the work carried out.


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