Kenny sees offenders get on their bikes

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Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will visit West Lothian next week to see low-level offenders carrying out manual labour as part of their community service.

He will visit Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow, where offenders are constructing a BMX track and cycle path under the Scottish Government’s Community Payback scheme. West Lothian Council was awarded £57,000 for the project.

Mr MacAskill said: “Punishment should be tough and we should be using these offenders as a resource to make improvements to local communities as payback for the damage they have done.

“We’ve brought in new laws meaning that local communities can now have a say on the type of manual labour they want to see low-level offenders carrying out in their local areas.

“It may be that Community Payback work squads are sent in to clean up streets scrawled in graffiti, or pavements covered in chewing gum. Or, as we’ve seen in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, it may be that the public want offenders sent out to restore fallen gravestones at the local church.”