The chief executive of Timpson had the perfect come-back to Boris Johnson’s highly controversial plans for punishing antisocial offenders.
Yesterday the prime minister,launching the Government’s Beating Crime Plan, promised to get tough on those who have been sentenced to community service, saying they should be made to“visibly pay” their debt to society.
He said the coronavirus lockdown “has driven some anti-social behaviour” and promised to tackle it.
“Somebody’s anti-social behaviour may be treated as a minor crime but it could be deeply distressing to those who are victims,” he said.
“If you are guilty of anti-social behaviour and you are sentenced to unpaid work, as many people are, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be out there in one of those fluorescent-jacketed chain gangs, visibly paying your debt to society.”
The new proposals were widely criticised across the board shortly after they had been announced, with campaign group Liberty saying they are designed to “create more stigma and division”.
Labelling it a “short-term stunt that will cause long-term generational harm” they joined hoards of other people who warned against the adverse implications of such treatment.
James Timpson, whose company has been lauded for its work with ex-offenders, had the perfect response to the proposals.
Taking to Twitter, he said:
“Instead of making offenders wear high viz jackets in chain gangs, how about helping them get a real job instead?
“In my shops we employ lots of ex offenders and they wear a shirt and tie. Same people, different approach, a much better outcome.”
Instead of making offenders wear high viz jackets in chain gangs, how about helping them get a real job instead? In my shops we employ lots of ex offenders and they wear a shirt and tie. Same people, different approach, a much better outcome.— James Timpson (@JamesTCobbler) July 27, 2021
Timpson uses an “upside down management” model throughout the business, trusting each colleague to do their job their own way.
They have also replaced the HR department with “people support” whose main role is to help colleagues sort out personal problems including bereavement, addiction, debt and relationship issues.
A tenth of employees are ex-offenders and it runs training schemes in prisons to help people when they get out.
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