About Community Service
Each year offenders deliver an average of 148,000 hours of unpaid work to the community in Northern Ireland through a community service sentence. Community Service is one of the most successful court sentences in terms of preventing re-offending. Three out of four people who complete community service do not re-offend within one year. Some examples of community service work are environmental and conservation projects, painting and decorating, contributing to community clean-ups, working in animal shelters or assisting disabled people. The Community Service sentence enables offenders to pay back to the community for the harm they have caused. The work is either under the guidance of our supervisor or staff in the host organisation.
To see examples of current and recent Community Service projects across Northern Ireland please visit our News section. You can also view our Community Service Strategy (PDF) or watch a video about Community Service.
We can’t do this without your help! We need to know about projects you think we could work on.
A project must meet the following criteria:
- It must benefit the local community
- It must not take paid work away from others
- No one must make a profit from the work
- It must be constructive and worthwhile
- It must be challenging and demanding
- Offenders must be seen to be putting something back into the local community
- Public liability insurance must be in place
- It must be within our capabilities and comply with health and safety standards
The Community Service team will assess the project for suitability and for health and safety implications.
Alternatively, you could telephone (028) 9064 7156 and talk to one of our Community Service Managers.
Graffiti Removal Service
In April 2017 Probation and Belfast City Council launched a Graffiti Removal Service. It provides an opportunity for those on Community Service to clean up defaced areas in Belfast. To request graffiti removal in your area contact Belfast City Council on (028) 9027 0230 or go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk and search for “Report a street cleaning issue”. You can also find out more information about the Graffiti Removal Service by downloading the Graffiti Removal Service leaflet (PDF).
Community Service Feedback
Here is some of the feedback PBNI has received from community groups who have benefited from Community Service:
Marie Curie Cancer Care
“We would like to thank the Probation Board Community Service team for supporting our Walk Ten Belfast event through helping with the clean up the next day. We greatly appreciate and value the work of PBNI. The event was a great success.”
Shankill Methodist Church
“I want to express the thanks of the church for the excellent work done. It has been of great benefit to us, the work has been done to an excellent standard.”
Holy Trinity Primary School
“The good work of Community Service should be recognised as they have been extremely important in the work within our school. Work is completed on Saturdays, and always to a high standard. We would like to thank Probation for this work, which would otherwise not be completed due to budget constraints.”