£800,000 is spent to house offenders

Dumfries and Galloway Council Depot, Barnkirk. SGGY 211113 3
Dumfries and Galloway Council Depot, Barnkirk. SGGY 211113 3

Building work on units to house offenders sentenced to community payback orders is almost complete – at a cost of £800,000.

Newton Stewart is the latest town to receive the brand new portable cabin-type units at Barnkirk after the Scottish government changed the guidelines on community service.

The punishment is now known as a community payback order and with the 2011 changes came a requirement for buildings that comply with health and safety requirements.

The base will have new toilets and showers and will provide accommodation for offenders and staff.

A council spokesperson said: “The Scottish government introduced community payback orders in 2011. These orders impose a range of requirements on those con­victed at courts including unpaid work requirements.

“Our council is committed to building five workshops across Dumfries and Galloway for people who have been made subject of such orders, and for staff members supervising the work.

“The units in Dumfries and Stranraer were completed and opened some time ago.

“The other units are in

Castle Douglas, Newton Stewart and Annan – and these three units will cost approximately £800,000 taken together. Each unit must comply fully with health and safety requirements and include appropriate facilities such as toilets.

“Work is reaching completion on the penultimate phase of the building project. This phase includes the unit at Newton Stewart, which will allow the criminal justice social work service to add to the range of tasks required of those on community payback orders.

“The Scottish government expects that these tasks are for the benefit of local communities and are undertaken as close to their own communities as possible.

“The development of the five units across Dumfries and Galloway, including the unit in Newton Stewart, allows the criminal justice social work service to match the Scottish government aspiration.”