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New Probation Community Service Officer 30 November 2007

LYNDA Watts has been appointed Community Service Officer in the Probation Service.

Lynda Watts - Probation Community Service OfficerMrs Watts, 43, is responsible for co-ordinating the successful completion of all Community Service orders issued by the court. This involves working with colleagues to assess offenders’ suitability for community service, and for matching those given community service orders with the most suitable community work. She is also involved in sourcing new community projects within non profit-making organisations, building long lasting relationships within the community itself.

Originally from the North East of England, Mrs Watts moved to the Isle of Man eight years ago and now resides in Peel with her husband. She has enjoyed a career in banking and finance since leaving school but recently studying for an NVQ in management prompted her to reassess her future career ambitions.

She explained:

‘I discovered that I was more interested in working with people rather than processes and was delighted when the post of Community Service Officer was advertised. It will be a steep learning curve for me with the chance to use my existing skills as well as developing new ones, and I am delighted to have this opportunity. Community Service aims to challenge offenders both physically and emotionally, and encourages them to give something back to the community. Some of the projects undertaken as community work – from working with local charities to painting fences or litter-picking – can inspire people to either continue their involvement within that area of the community or step out into areas they would not have considered themselves capable of previously, having a long-lasting effect.’

Welcoming Lynda Watts to her new post, Chief Probation Officer David Sellick commented:

‘Lynda’s previous experience and natural talents shone through at her assessment centre and in the interview process. The excellent systems already established by her predecessor Tim Dunne will allow Lynda to concentrate on more innovative and challenging projects within the community.’

Mrs Watts will become a familiar face at the weekly High Bailiff’s and magistrates’ courts where sentencing options include community service orders, ranging from 40 hours to 240 hours. Aspects of her role also involve ensuring that community service work does not take away paid work from people. She must also consider the health and safety aspects of any project plus take on the responsibility of minimising any risks to both the offender and the public.

Around 40 people are currently serving Community Service Orders. For more information about Community Service Orders and the Probation Service, visit the Probation Service pages on the Department of Home Affairs’ website:

Previous postholder Tim Dunne has moved within the Probation Service to a role working with victims and reparation, as well as sharing Probation court and report centre duties with Lynda Watts.

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