6 Mar 2019
Criminals in Scotland are frequently waiting for months before they start their community payback order (CPO) work placements according to Scottish Government statistics.
The figures, which were released after a Scottish Conservative freedom of information request, showed that over 800 criminals waited over two months to start their work placement, with some waiting over a year.
And one criminal waited 469 days between being handed his community payback order and starting work.
Scottish Government guidelines stipulate that any work placements handed down should start within seven working days of the CPO being issued.
However it has already been revealed that one in three work placements are not reaching this target, and hundreds are waiting well over that before starting to serve their sentence.
Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said:
“These are deeply worrying statistics and show that hundreds of criminals are waiting months before starting their CPO.
“It is ludicrous that a criminal could wait over fifteen months before starting to serve the sentence that was handed down to them, and something needs to change.
“These figures make a mockery of the seven day target and with this SNP Government recklessly pushing ahead with scrapping prison sentences of under a year they could add nearly 10,000 more criminals into the CPO system.
“It’s further proof of the problems that are being caused by the SNP’s soft touch approach to justice.
“It’s time that Nicola Sturgeon and her party put victims first and finally abandoned their plans to stop dangerous criminals from serving jail sentences.”