City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Prisoners Roped in to Clear Stockbridge Snow

By edg - Posted on 01 December 2010

Prisoners clear snow

Low level offenders on community service were out clearing snow and ice in Stockbridge, Edinburgh this morning.

The offenders have been switched from usual work such as cleaning graffiti and restoring fallen gravestones to the more immediate need of assisting vulnerable people in their communities during the current severe weather conditions.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill took the opportunity to visit offenders clearing the snow and ice on pavements at Stockbridge House, a sheltered housing complex for the elderly.

"Scotland is experiencing its worst snowfall at this time of year since 1965, but we are seeing the country pulling together to help overcome the extreme conditions," said MacAskill.

"Today I've seen offenders paying back communities they have harmed by doing some tough manual labour to help clear pavements of snow for elderly residents to allow them to get out and about safely."

The minister encouraged everyone to continue to pull together on a day that saw services and transport conditions severely disrupted as the weather-related conditions deteriorated further.

The Forth Road Bridge was shut down at 6.30am today for the first time in living memory, due to too much snow, only fully opening around 4pm today. Edinburgh Airport was closed again all day due to heavy snowfall on the runway. It is expected to open tomorrow.

"Whether it is the army of gritters and snowploughs on our roads, our police and rescue services aiding those in need, or the caring neighbour, everyone is working above and beyond the call of duty to keep Scotland moving and our essential services open," said MacAskill.

"This is a great example of a council responding quickly and using the available labour power from offenders on community service. These offenders are carrying out manual labour, shovelling snow, laying grit and clearing the streets during the severe conditions, and repaying their dues to the community."

Edinburgh Weather: Severe weather updates