Labour is promising to create a system of “victim payback boards” in a drive to restore public confidence in community sentences for anti-social behaviour if it gains power at the next election.
Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said it would put communities and victims “at the heart” of how offenders repay society.
Under Labour’s plans, locally appointed community and victim payback boards will be given a role in deciding what unpaid work offenders must undertake, such as removing graffiti, clearing wasteland or redecorating community centres.
Data will be published locally on the nature of the offenders and the unpaid work they have been required to do, so communities and victims can see justice is being served and offenders are paying back for their crimes.
The party said the boards would be drawn from representatives of local Safer Neighbourhood boards, nominated community members, victims’ representatives, and professionals who live or work in the area.
They will operate – with guidance from the criminal justice system and local authorities – through existing local infrastructure at no additional cost and create a new level of involvement for community leaders.
Sir Keir said: “After 12 years of Conservative government, which has seen record criminal case delays, police officers disappearing from our streets, police station closures and court sell-offs, communities have no faith that the criminal justice system is keeping their communities safe from crime.
“Community payback can stop more serious reoffending, but judges have stopped handing it out because this soft-on-crime Conservative Government cannot be trusted to make sure offenders pay back for their crimes.
“Labour will put security at the heart of its contract with the British people. We’ll put communities and victims at the heart of how offenders repay society and make sure justice is being seen to be delivered locally.”