Judges and magistrates in the West Midlands will now be able to order offenders to mend wheelchairs for sick children and plant trees in parks as part of their punishment.

The Community Order, which comes into force today, involves up to 300 hours of unpaid work to be completed within a year.

It will bring together orders for drug addicts to receive treatment and for sex offenders to attend group therapy sessions.

It could include a curfew, a ban on entering certain areas and 24-hour supervision by probation officers.

The order will instruct offenders to take part in projects, such as mending wheelchairs in Coventry, mowing lawns and planting trees in Castle Bromwich, clearing litter from parks in Solihull and removing graffiti in Chelmsley Wood.

Richard Green, the assistant chief probation officer for the West Midlands, said: "These changes will deliver a range of interventions that are proven to reduce re-offending, resulting in less crime and fewer victims.

"The ability to tailor requirements to individuals' needs will enhance the way that offenders are punished, reformed and rehabilitated."