Last month we told you about our latest GeoVation finalists taking their ideas forward to the ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Showcase. Today, we’re featuring Community Payback visibility, to find out more about their idea. All of the finalists are being featured on the GeoVation blog over the next couple of weeks, visit now to find out more. And if you’d like to see all of the ideas pitch for a share of £115,000 in funding at Ordnance Survey on 20 June - sign up for your free ticket.
Jason Davies from Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust tells us about the Community Payback Visibility idea:
The Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust arrange and supervise Community Payback projects. This is the unpaid work carried out by offenders on community sentences. It must be challenging, constructive and benefit local neighbourhoods. Projects might range from cleaning graffiti or fly-tipping to clearing dense undergrowth or canals.
Our idea is a free mobile app that makes it easier for the public to nominate sites for Community Payback and track the progress on a website.
People would take a geo-tagged photo of a “grotspot” in their local area and the app sends it directly to their local Probation Trust. Ordnance Survey basemaps would display the GPS location on the phone, which the user could manually adjust to provide pinpoint accuracy. Knowing the exact spot and being able to see the nomination would make it far easier for the Trust to locate and assess a site for its suitability for Community Payback.
Not all nominations would be suitable, but Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust would provide feedback, even for those submitted anonymously by a link to a webpage where people could follow progress.
Suitable projects would be posted on a map on the website, which would also hold information on how to download and use the app, plus guidelines on what makes a suitable Community Payback project.
Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation trust would add photos of work being done, cleaned-up sites and – crucially – information and feedback from the offenders on their experiences.
In a nutshell, we hope to develop a map-based tapestry of local stories – all based around very specific geographic points – which would make the public feel more engaged in decision-making and make the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders more visible and meaningful to people in their communities.