A minor traffic accident at an intersection on Tauranga Direct Road in Rotorua on at the weekend led to a different type of community work for nine offenders.
The accident occurred between a Corrections van carrying community based offenders, and a private vehicle that failed to give way and pulled out in front of the van. While no offenders or staff were injured in the accident, the driver of the private vehicle and a passenger were taken to hospital for observation as a precaution.
Community Probation & Psychological Services Waiariki Area Manager Pauline Moran says that the work offenders ended up doing was not the community work planned for the day, but was none the less valued by Police and the Senior Community Work Supervisor who had been driving the van.
“Due to the location of the accident it took emergency services some time to arrive. While waiting for an ambulance and tow truck, the offenders took responsibility for directing traffic around the damaged vehicles and ensuring the safety of the scene and other drivers on the road.”
Once back at the Community Work centre Pauline debriefed the Supervisor and offenders who had been involved, and confirmed that there were no injuries. Pauline also passed on the praise of Police to the offenders.
The offenders had been en-route to Hamurana where they have been collecting rubbish near the lake as part of their sentence.
The sentence of community work requires offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as a way of making up for their offending.
Annually New Zealand communities benefit from almost three million hours of labour supplied through community work sentences.
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