Teams of low-level offenders are to be sent out to target and remove unsightly chewing gum from pavements in Fife as part of work to pay back communities for the damage they have done.
The ‘Community Payback’ initiative is the first of its kind in Scotland and has been developed by Fife Council’s Criminal Justice social work team in direct response to frustrations expressed by communities.
Councillor Judy Hamilton, executive spokesman for social work and health, said: “I am pleased to see an imaginative dispersal of funds into this, as one of a wide range of projects that will see real benefits in our communities; and am particularly pleased to welcome this initiative in Kirkcaldy.
“I would like to thank our own Community Payback project officers for the work that they do in delivering the projects in our communities.”
The initiative follows laws brought in meaning local communities can have a direct say on the type of work they want to see low level offenders carry out as part of their Community Payback sentences.
Councillor Margaret Kennedy, convenor of the Fife and Forth Valley Community Justice Authority, said: “I am delighted to see the results of the disbursement of monies received by the CJA being put to good use. In particular, as the funds were raised from the proceeds of crime.”
The move was also praised by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill who said that the “ugly sight” of chewing gum littering pavements was a common problem for many communities across the country.
He added: “It’s a bugbear for many, people want to see something being done about it, and this project will now see action being taken to clean up our streets for the benefit of the community.”