Renfrewshire Council

Community Payback Orders

Community Payback Orders (CPOs) are court orders which are imposed on individuals sentenced in relation to offences committed from 1st February 2011.  These orders were created by the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

Where individuals are sentenced after 1st February 2011, but for offences committed prior to this date then they would be sentenced according to previous legislation.  Please see Probation and Community Service Orders information in the 'Related articles' section.

Community Payback Orders consist of 9 requirements. The court will decide which to impose. CPO requirements include:

1. Supervision.
2. Unpaid Work & Other Activity.
3. Compensation.
4. Residence.
5. Programme.
6. Mental Health.
7. Drug Treatment.
8. Alcohol Treatment Requirement.
9. Conduct Requirement.

Supervision requirement:

The Court will require you to attend appointments with a Criminal Justice Social Work Case Manager (responsible officer) or another person determined by the responsible officer for a specified period of time.  With the exception of Unpaid Work for individuals aged 18 and over, none of the CPO requirements can be imposed without the addition of a Supervision Requirement.

The Social Worker will:

  • Work with you to change your behaviour, and encourage you not to offend.
  • Manage your compliance with appointments.
  • Regularly assess your risk of reoffending and harm to inform the intensity of contact with you.

Unpaid work and other activity:

An Unpaid Work & Other Activity Requirement is one of nine provisions available to sentencers which can be imposed as part of a CPO.

For 16 & 17 year olds an Unpaid Work & Other Activity Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.  For individuals ages 18 and over an Unpaid Work & Other Activity Requirement can be imposed without a Supervision Requirement.

Unpaid work is work undertaken in the community to repay the community for the impact of your offending.  This consists of a range of work, requested by the community either within a squad supervised by the criminal justice service, or individual placements.  Work can include painting and decorating, joinery, gardening etc.  We will make every attempt to ensure that the work you do both benefits the community and is also a learning experience for you.

Other Activity can be described as anything that promotes desistance from offending and is agreed with your Supervising Officer.  It can include input to improve areas of your life e.g. literacy/numeracy/problem solving/anger management/addictions support/employability assistance etc.

There are 2 levels of unpaid work requirement:

Level 1: 20-100 hours

This should be completed within 3 months unless a longer timescale is specified by the court at point of sentence.  This is not an alternative to custody and can be imposed without requesting a social work report.  This is the only order available to Justice of the Peace Courts/Stipendiary Magistrates.

Level 2: 101-300 hours

This is a direct alternative to custody and should be completed within 6 months unless a longer timescale is specified by the court at point of sentence. (This cannot be imposed by a JP court/Stipendiary Magistrates and will require a social work report to inform sentencing).

Compensation requirement:

A Compensation Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.  The Court will require you to pay an imposed sum of money to the victim(s) of their crime, through the Court as compensation for damage, loss or personal injury.  The money must be paid within 18 months from the day the CPO is imposed or 2 months before the end of the CPO, whichever is first.  Failure to do so is a breach of the Community Payback Order and will be returned to the court.

Compensation Orders existed prior to CPOs and continue to be a disposal available to the Court independent of a CPO.  This can be imposed alongside a CPO as a separate disposal at the point of sentence.

Residence requirement:

A Residence Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.

The Court will require you to live at a certain address to reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

This requirement should reinforce elements of supervision and control and promote reassurance that you are living in a more stable environment to access appropriate guidance and assistance.  Problems of homelessness alone should not prevent this requirement being used.

You will require to reside within the designated accommodation stated in the order, and where this is your home then a social work assessment will assess that such a requirement will not have a detrimental impact upon other residents.

For a small number of cases where there is an alcohol or drug treatment condition a residence requirement may be considered in conjunction with these.

Programme requirement:

A Programme Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.  The Court will require you to undertake a course/programme or other planned set of activities, over a period of time (a minimum of 30 hours).  This will be provided individually or to groups of individuals for the purpose of addressing offending behavioural needs.

In Renfrewshire this can include:

  • Constructs: Positive Steps to Stop Offending: a general offending programme.
  • Moving Forward Making Changes: a programme to address sexual offending.
  • There are also programmes for women and those who commit domestic violence offences (Up2U).

Mental health requirement:

A Mental Health Treatment Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.

The Court will require those who have been diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner as having a mental health condition and/or learning disability contributing to their offending to undertake assessment and treatment by or under the direction of a registered medical practitioner or registered psychologist with a view to the improvement of the individual's mental health.

Treatment can be provided to the individual either as:

  • an inpatient in a hospital, (other than in the State Hospital);
  • an outpatient at a hospital or other place as may be specified; or
  • may be specified to be under the direction of such registered medical practitioner or registered psychologist as appropriate to the individual in terms of his/her mental health and social circumstances.

Drug treatment requirement:

A Drug Treatment Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.  This provides the court with an alternative to custody and an alternative to a DTTO, where your offending history is not sufficiently high tariff and you have not established a chronic history of drug misuse.  The aim is your recovery from drug misuse, and the service could include:

  • Psychological care - counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
  • Support with social, family, financial issues etc.
  • Medical treatment - detoxification or substitute prescription.
  • Relapse prevention.
  • Peer support.

Alcohol treatment requirement:

An Alcohol Treatment Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.  The Court will require you, where you have an alcohol dependency identified as contributing to offending behaviour, to undertake alcohol treatment.

Treatment can be delivered on a community basis, or on a residential basis (possibly with a residence requirement).  This will require assessment by alcohol services staff.

In order to impose this, the court needs to be satisfied:

  • that you are dependent on alcohol;
  • that this requires and may be susceptible to treatment; and
  • that arrangements are in place to provide this (and funding where the appropriate placement is residential).

For those not dependent upon alcohol i.e. problem and binge drinkers, alcohol counselling can be included within the supervision requirement.

Conduct requirement:

A Conduct Requirement is imposed in conjunction with a Supervision Requirement.  The Court will require you to do, or refrain from doing certain actions.  This allows courts additional flexibility to impose requirements on you to do something, or to refrain from doing specific things.  The court needs to be satisfied that this is necessary to ensure your good behaviour, or preventing further reoffending.

Breach - potential consequences for individuals:

Criminal justice social work staff members are officers of the court.  While we will make every effort to support you to complete your order successfully, where you do not comply with requirements we will have to return you to court.

If a Court finds an individual guilty of breaching the CPO it can:

  • Discharge the Order.
  • Impose a custodial sentence.
  • Vary the requirements within the CPO, including imposing a Restricted Movement Requirement.
  • Impose a fine in addition to the existing CPO.