London, Nov.28 : Tens of thousands of British criminals sentenced to community punishment are to be forced from next week to wear high visibility orange bibs identifying them as offenders.
According to The Times, the fluorescent orange clothing will bear the words "community payback" on the back and front so that the public knows they are offenders doing physical work as part of their community sentence.
At any one time 35,000 offenders are doing community payback, which involves projects ranging from clearing derelict land to restoring buildings and decorating community centres.
Justice Ministry Jack Straw will formally announce the move next week after years of attempts by ministers to put offenders in uniforms as a way of convincing the public that community punishment is not a soft option.
Previous attempts to make offenders working in the community more visible have been resisted by workers in the probation service.
Louise Casey, the former head of the Government's Respect Task Force, recommended the move earlier this year.