Belfast Telegraph

Offenders work on Grand Prix route

Offenders are taking to the roads around Dundrod to help with preparations for the Ulster Grand Prix.

Race organisers have teamed up with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) to arrange community service projects around the circuit before and after this week's motorbike spectacular.

Six offenders have been cutting grass verges and carrying out other manual work on the roads ahead of the races for the last two weeks and will return once the bikes have gone to take part in the clean-up operation.

Probation Board Community Service Officer Elis Watters said the initiative was a good way for offenders to repay the community.

"Probation in Lisburn works in partnership with the community and voluntary sectors to provide placements for community service to enable offenders to pay back for the crimes they have committed," she said.

"This however is the first time that we have assisted with the Ulster Grand Prix and we are delighted to be able to help in the preparation of this prestigious event.

"We will have six offenders working over at least two weeks. Offenders will be involved in cutting back and strimming grass verges, carrying out manual work and importantly after the event is over they will work on the clean-up.

"The Ulster Grand Prix isn't only a road race, it's an opportunity for the wider community to come together and enjoy family entertainment.

"We are delighted that community service can help out in a practical and meaningful way. It's good for the community but most importantly it also helps offenders prevent reoffending in the future.

"Community Service is a visible and practical method of ensuring offenders pay something back to the community while at the same time helping offenders to develop skills they can use in the future which will prevent them continuing in a cycle of crime."

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