UK taxpayers' fury over ex-cons free gym membership under crime reduction scheme

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London, May 21(ANI): Former convicted criminals in the UK are being rewarded with free gym memberships to encourage them to turn their backs on a life of crime.

Thirty criminals in Wokingham, whose crimes include burglary and anti-social behaviour, have got passes worth around 60 pounds a month as long as they stick to the conditions of their rehabilitation.

Talking about the scheme, Detective Inspector Rodger Cartwright, of Wokingham CID, admitted that it "might not be popular" with the public, but insisted that it "taught discipline" to offenders.

"They have to work really hard to get it and I have an intelligence network so I know what a lot of local villains are up to. We put them away if they try and offend again," The Daily Star quoted Cartwright, as saying.

However, Policy Analyst at the Taxpayers' Alliance, John O'Connell, claims that the scheme is a complete waste of money.

"We often hear that we need to protect frontline services, but these hare-brained schemes make that all the harder," O'Connell said.

"It also shows a complete distortion of priorities. Law-abiding people work hard so they can pay to use their local gym. They might wonder why they bother if convicted criminals get theirs for free," he added. (ANI)

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