Choose an eyesore for offenders to clean up

UNDER-fire Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has issued a rallying call to residents to choose which eyesore in Barking and Dagenham should be cleaned up first. The cabinet minister engulfed in the pornography on expenses row is asking the public to decide w

UNDER-fire Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has issued a rallying call to residents to choose which eyesore in Barking and Dagenham should be cleaned up first.

The cabinet minister engulfed in the "pornography on expenses" row is asking the public to decide where offenders will do reparation work.

She issued the call with Justice Secretary Jack Straw and the Probation Service on Monday as part of a nationwide Community Payback drive that will see one of five hotspots in the borough cleared as a priority after public voting ends on Friday, April 24.

The areas are: Goresbrook Village playground and Maplestead Road shops in Dagenham; a Back Lane walkway in Chadwell Heath; an alleyway and shops in Green Lane, Dagenham, near Burnside Road; Barking Park; and St Mark's Place, Dagenham. The Probation Service said the four other areas would be cleaned up afterwards.


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Ms Smith said: "It is vital that the public see that we are taking action to tackle the crimes that concern them most. Justice must be seen to be done.

"Community Payback is an important part of that process."

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To vote, email payback@london. probation.gsi.gov.uk or call 07894 176 943.

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