Probus Club learns about community justice

Montrose and District Probus Club met last Tuesday and welcomed guest speaker Mr Philip Catherall.

His topic was ‘Community Justice’ and he spoke about his work and involvement with the Community Justice Services. He is based in Arbroath and is currently supervising 57 people under these orders.

Teams in Arbroath and Forfar operate and oversee the work of those under Community Payback Orders. This often involves having to devote unpaid hours of service to the community and has recently included such tasks as digging gardens, removing graffiti, clearing rubbish from beaches, and erecting signposts along the pathway over the cliffs from Arbroath to Auchmithie.

Those who perpetrate acts of domestic violence, or fall foul of the law due to drugs or alcohol, must be supervised, and hopefully helped, by being taught new skills or educated and helped in such a way that, once back in the community, the risk of further offending is minimised.

Community Payback Orders were introduced by the Scottish Government in 2011 and are aimed to stop people re-offending. Those who would have been sentenced to three months or less are now expected to pay back to the community anything between 20 and 300 hours of unpaid service, normally to be completed within six months.

Mr Catherall is keen to hear from members of the public with ideas as to how this service may benefit their community.

Archie Howie proposed thanks.