5.4 Fiscal work orders
(Tables 2 and 23 to 24)
5.4.1 Fiscal work orders (FWOs) were introduced nationally on 1 April 2015. They allow Procurators Fiscal to offer unpaid work orders as an alternative to prosecution. They can be for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 50 hours and should be completed within six months.
5.4.2 The number of FWOs commenced in Scotland increased after they were introduced nationally, reaching a high of 1,030 in 2017-18. Numbers have then dropped in each of the next four years, with 76 issued in 2021-22.
5.4.3 In 2021-22, there were 150 fiscal work order assessments undertaken by local authorities. In 80 of these assessments, the orders were accepted with the remaining 70 deemed unsuitable by local authorities. The number of orders which finished was 110, of which 76 per cent were successfully completed.
5.4.4 In past years, people given fiscal work orders tended to be younger than those given CPOs. However this was much less the case in the most recent year. Thirty-seven per cent of orders commenced in 2021-22 were for people aged 25 and under, compared with 44 per cent in 2020-21.
5.4.5 In 2021-22, 70 per cent of fiscal work orders issued were for unemployed or economically inactive people when employment status was known. A further 27 per cent were for people in employment.
5.4.6 Almost half (49 per cent) of orders imposed in 2021-22 were for 50 hours. A further 22 per cent were for 40 hours and 18 per cent for 30 hours.
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