Community Payback Order hours outstanding across Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

1: The total number of outstanding unpaid work hours by each local authority, as per the most recent figures.

2: The total number of unpaid work hours currently outstanding in Scotland, as per the most recent figures, and comparable figures for the same time period in 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018?


I attach a copy of most of the information you requested.

Part 1: Data has been provided on the attached excel spreadsheet for August 2022.
Part 2: We have provided Scotland's figures for September 2020 and 2021 as this is the nearest month annually to August 2022.

Total hours outstanding of unpaid work or other activity requirements as part of community payback order, Scotland:

Sept 2020*: 725,696
Sept 2021 : 625,825
Aug 2022*: 711,264

*Please note, that Scotland's figures for all 2020 and 2022 included statistics estimates where data was not available from local authorities. All data excludes requirements which were in breach. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have data for 2019 and 2018, as the information you have requested was not collected for these years.

The data provided is management information requested from local authorities on outstanding unpaid work or other activity hours. This information has been requested to inform ongoing discussions around how local authorities are managing demand to deliver unpaid work hours, following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the return of court business to close to pre-pandemic levels. Management information is not validated to the same statistical quality standards as official statistics.

During the pandemic, Community Payback Order (CPO) unpaid work placements were affected by the national lockdowns and other measures to keep people safe.

A wide range of information relating to CPOs is collected and published annually as part of national Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics at Information on unpaid work or other activity hours outstanding at a particular time is not collected as part of the national statistics, though information on hours delivered each year by local authorities is.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FoI 202200323450 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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