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Community Payback Order

The Community Payback Order replaces the former sentences of Probation, Community Service and Supervised Attendance Orders.

Have your Say- Criminal Justice Unpaid Work Placement priority plan 2019-2024 Consultation

We are seeking views on the priorities detailed in our Criminal Justice Unpaid Work Placement priority plan 2019-2024.

Since our last strategy, Criminal Justice 'Unpaid Work Placement Strategy 2011-14 was published there has been a shift in the landscape on how unpaid work is ordered and delivered in relation to Community Justice. Community Payback Orders (CPO) have now replaced the previous other court orders in relation to unpaid work. We are seeking views on the four identified priorities that aim to better support communities and offenders in West Lothian through unpaid work elements of CPOs.

The suggested priorities are as follows:

1. Meeting the appropriate demands of the local community
2. Reducing the risk of poverty and social exclusion
3. Protecting the built and natural environment
4. Reducing the risk of anti-social behaviour

Please access the online survey below to provide us your feedback. The survey will close on Friday 20th of September 2019.

What is a Community Payback Order (CPO)?

This community-based order gives the courts a range of sentencing options. It allows the courts to impose one or more of a range of nine requirements, giving options that encourage a reduction in re-offending through both rehabilitation and punishment. Someone sentenced to a CPO will be expected to attend appointments as instructed and to follow all other instructions given by their Supervising Officer, as part of the process of working to reduce their risk of re-offending.

The CPO must contain one or both of these two requirements:

  • Supervision Requirement
  • Unpaid Work or Other Activity Requirement

It may also contain any of the following seven requirements, each of which can only be imposed alongside a Supervision Requirement:

  • Compensation Requirement
  • Programme Requirement (taking part in groupwork or other structured activities)
  • Residence Requirement (living at a specified address)
  • Mental Health Requirement
  • Drug Treatment Requirement
  • Alcohol Treatment Requirement
  • Conduct Requirement (a new type of requirement, allowing the court to enforce particular types of behaviour; for example, a person placed on a CPO for committing a sexual offence might have a conduct requirement that he should not approach playparks.
Can someone be given a 'tag' (be placed on a Restriction of Liberty Order) as part of a Community Payback Order?

While a Restriction of Liberty Order may still be used, this will be a separate Court Order. There is no provision for a Restricted Movement Requirement (electronic monitoring) to be imposed as a requirement of a CPO at the point of sentence: it is only available to the court as a extra sanction for someone who has failed to keep to the conditions of a CPO and who has been taken back to court for this under Breach proceedings.

How long does a CPO last?

A CPO Supervision requirement can be from six months to three years in duration.

The time allowed by law to serve an Unpaid Work or Other Activity Requirement of a CPO will depend on the number of hours imposed. A Level 1 requirement will be for between 20 and 100 hours of unpaid work, to be carried out within 3 months. Justice of the Peace courts may only impose Unpaid Work or Other Activity Requirement at Level 1.

A Level 2 requirement of between 101 and 300 hours of unpaid work should be completed, unless the court states otherwise, within a period of 6 months.

Orders will commence as quickly as possible, within 5 working days after the order is made by the court .

The role of courts in managing sentences effectively

Sentencers will have the option, when they impose a Community Payback Order, of requiring the person to attend Review Hearings at court, in order to report back on their progress or otherwise. This allows sentencers to have a role both in monitoring progress and in motivating the individual, as well as taking swift action when breach of an order is required.

Reporting on our Community Payback Scheme

Scottish local authorities are obliged by law to report annually on the operation of their Community Payback Schemes. These local reports may not be published until the Scottish Government publishes its own summary of progress nationally, usually around nine months after the end of the financial year. Here is  pdf icon the annual report for 2015-16. [308kb]. The national report for the same period may be accessed at Community Payback Order: summary of local authority annual reports 2015-2016.