Community Payback Order: summary of local authority annual reports 2015-2016

Document summarising Scottish local authority annual reports on the fifth year of operation of the Community Payback Order.

Annex A: A Summary Of The Guidance To Local Authorities On Cpo Annual Reports

Section 227ZM of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 imposes a duty on local authorities to submit annual reports on the operation of the CPO. It states:

1) Each local authority must, as soon as practicable after the end of each reporting year, prepare a report on the operation of community payback orders within their area during that reporting year, and send a copy of the report to the Scottish Ministers.

2) The Scottish Ministers may issue directions to local authorities about the content of their reports under subsection (1); and local authorities must comply with any such directions.

3) The Scottish Ministers must, as soon as practicable after the end of each reporting year, lay before the Scottish Parliament and publish a report that collates and summarises the data included in the various reports under subsection (1).

4) In this section, "reporting year" means-

(a) the period of 12 months beginning on the day this section comes into force, or

(b) any subsequent period of 12 months beginning on an anniversary of that day.

This provision was commenced on 1 April 2011.

Fulfilling the requirement

Circular JD/5/2011 explained that local authorities would be expected to fulfil the requirement in two ways:

(i) by continuing to submit statistics for each financial year to the Scottish Government on the operation of community sentences in their areas; and
(ii) in addition to these statistics, by providing a narrative account of the implementation and operation of the CPO in the financial year to which the statistics refer.

Local authorities are still to fulfil the requirement in these two ways.

Narrative accounts

Therefore from 2012/13 onwards, the narrative account should cover the following revised range of issues:

  • a description of the types of unpaid work projects and activities which have been carried out;
  • the total number of unpaid work hours completed during the year;
  • information that helps to demonstrate how communities benefit from unpaid work, for example that could include:
  • examples of the total number of hours spent on specific projects/activities (e.g. in last year's report one local authority indicated that 2,522 hours of unpaid work was spent upgrading community sports and leisure facilities);
  • numbers of facilities which have benefited during the year e.g. the number of church halls; care homes; schools; parks and beaches etc.
  • examples of work which has been done in partnership with local or national organisations and agencies e.g. Historic Scotland, Rotary Club, SportsScotland etc;
  • examples of work with a direct immediate personal benefit, such as winter weather-related work.
  • if available, quotes from offenders and beneficiaries about the impact of the unpaid work on them and the community;
  • a description of the kinds of "other activity" carried out as part of unpaid work or other activity requirements;
  • a description of what activities were carried out to consult prescribed persons and organisations, pursuant to Section 227ZL of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, and wider communities on the nature of unpaid work and other activities and how the consultation results helped determine which projects were undertaken;
  • a description of the use by the courts of CPO requirements other than unpaid work or other activity, for example what, and in what way, different requirements are being used for those whose offending is driven by drug, alcohol and mental health issues; or how requirements such as programme or conduct are being used to address offending behaviour;
  • details of any issues affecting access to services which are provided by other partners (e.g. drug and alcohol services) and, where such issues have been identified, what work is underway to resolve them; and
  • any other relevant information e.g. a description of other work being carried out with offenders on CPOs which does not fall into the category of a requirement but nevertheless contributes to addressing offending behaviour.

The template to be completed is attached at Annex B .


Email: Andrew Corrigan

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