Unpaid work in the community has been changing the landscape as well as the lives of offenders living in Bradford for the past 40 years.

And this week Community Payback has been highlighting some of the projects under way in the district as part of a week of 40th anniversary celebrations which ends on Friday.

Community Service became a new sentencing option in October 1972 when offenders began being sentenced to unpaid work in the community.

Since then it has changed and developed in both substance and name, but schemes are continuing to rehabilitate offenders across the district, including work being carried out at the Greenway Project in Barkerend, Bradford.

The project has seen Community Payback clearing overgrown pathways and ginnels which link the area, as well as cutting grass and clearing untidy areas.

One East Bowling man working on the Greenway as part of the scheme, who did not want to be identified, said he believed community payback did work to stop re-offending.

The 21-year-old, who was on the 30th of 180 hours he had been ordered to do after being convicted of affray, said it was the first time he had been in trouble with the law.

He told the Telegraph & Argus: “It’s been good – it’s been teaching you not to do it again or else you’re going to have to do all this work for free again.

“It’s also taught me other skills like teamwork, working with strangers and obviously the different gardening skills that we have learned.”

Ishaq Shafiq, ward officer for Bradford Council, who commissioned the work, said: “It’s been a brilliant contribution. This is just one of many projects which the payback team have been supporting the Council with. It is a fantastic contribution that they make in the communities through this work.”

Community Payback project officer Bill Bartholomew said: “The whole idea is to get them used to a day’s work.

“By being sentenced to community work they have to get up in a morning. A lot of them don’t do that, so it gets them used to getting up, getting a work site and doing quite a bit of work.

“They also learn teamwork and pick skills up as well.”