Thursday, May 5, 2022

Figures show that more than 650,000 unpaid community services were not performed

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More than 650,000 hours of unpaid community service were not done, new figures have revealed.

The statistics were released by the Scottish Conservatives following a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to local authorities in Scotland.

The party has accused SNP- and Labor-led councils of letting offenders off the hook as there are at least 669,838 hours of unpaid work remaining as part of community service.

The unfinished work, issued by judges under a Community Payback Order (CPO), is the equivalent of about 76 years, the Tories said.

Scottish Conservative Justice Minister Jamie Greene has criticized figures on penalties imposed as an alternative to prison, saying “dangerous criminals” do not face appropriate consequences for their offences.

According to Criminal Proceedings in Scotland statistics for 2019/20, eight criminals convicted of murder received CPOs, along with one person convicted of rape or attempted rape.

And 106 people convicted under the Domestic Abuse Act 2018 were doing community service, the stats show.

Mr Greene said: “This is an absolutely shocking figure, caused in part by the SNP’s obsession with emptying Scotland’s jails and handing down community sentences instead.

“It’s bad enough that rapists and domestic abusers have community penalties in the first place, but the fact that 76 years of unpaid labor is unpaid will stun victims of crime.”

The MSP also targeted some of the activities assigned to individuals in community service. He said the penalties “mocked” the suffering of the victims.

The FOI data revealed that some of the unpaid work assigned to individuals included making bird tables and building bee hotels.

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