I KNOW many people think that community service is a soft option for people convicted of a crime, but in my experience it has a really positive effect, not only on the people who have to serve it, but also on the communities in which they work.

Last weekend a group of men from Community Payback, along with Lizzy their supervisor, spent all day clearing rubbish and weeds from around Pill Millennium Centre.

They put in a lot of effort to remove a huge amount of rubbish, all of them cheerfully working and clearly proud of their efforts.

I thanked them for their work, and spoke to Lizzy as well, and the impression I got was that they felt good about giving something back to the community; most of these lads are employed in the week so they complete their community service on the weekend.

Surely this is a better way for them to “pay” for their crimes than fining them or giving them short prison services which cost the taxpayer and give nothing positive back?

Sally Wallis Pillgwenlly Newport