‘Staggering’ cut to community payback sentences

The SNP Government is letting criminals away lightly by writing off more than 260,000 hours of unpaid community work.

An investigation by the Scottish Conservatives has found that 262,153 hours of unpaid work given to criminals have been wiped out by the SNP.

The SNP Government announced in January this year they would use “extraordinary powers” to write off a huge number of hours handed out in Community Payback Orders.

The full extent of the cut has been revealed after Freedom of Information requests to all Scottish local authorities. The average cut per local authority is more than 8,192 hours.

Community Payback Orders would normally see criminals ordered to complete unpaid work such as picking up litter and erasing graffiti.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Jamie Greene MSP, said: “The sheer number of Community Payback hours cut by the SNP Government is absolutely staggering.

“They’ve let criminals away lightly by writing off hundreds of hours of community sentences.

“This is a slap in the face to victims of crime right across Scotland.

“When the courts order a criminal to help rebuild the community they have damaged, it’s only right that those sentences are taken seriously and fulfilled.

“The SNP are letting down victims again. We will keep campaigning to overhaul their soft-touch justice system with a Victims Law, so that people who suffer from crime are put first and criminals receive appropriately tough sentences.”

Notes

CPO Unpaid Work Hours Cut by Local Authority

Below is a table detailing the full results of our Investigation into the total number of hours cut by the SNP, broken down by each local authority. The average number of hours cut per local authority is 8,192 hours and 18 minutes. Freedom of Information responses from each local authority to verify these figures are available on request.

Local Authority

Hours Cut

Aberdeen

13,962

Aberdeenshire

13,970

Angus

4,739

Argyll and Bute

5,165

Clackmannanshire

5,238

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

340

Dumfries and Galloway

9,710.75

Dundee

6,149

East Ayrshire

4,535

East Dunbartonshire

3,200

East Lothian

2,977

East Renfrewshire

2,329

Edinburgh

9,929.5

Falkirk

10,023

Fife

21,492

Glasgow

32,569

Highland

11,317

Inverclyde

5,479

Midlothian

4,146

Moray

4,529

North Ayrshire

5,346

North Lanarkshire

19,816

Orkney

242

Perth and Kinross

6,280.28

Renfrewshire

9,969

Scottish Borders

5,110.75

Shetland

717

South Ayrshire

7,205

South Lanarkshire

13,431

Stirling

2557.45

West Dunbartonshire

12,333

West Lothian

7,347

TOTAL

262,153.73

Humza Yousaf uses “extraordinary powers” to write off unpaid community sentence work.’ (Scottish Government, 28 January 2021, link).

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