Community Orders – a soft option ?

Community Orders not being enforced

Prison is an expensive option for some offences and offenders but public opinion is also skeptical about community payback orders, and recent statistics may partly explain this.

It is all very well having a system which penalizes criminal activity with some kind of payback, and in fact many would support this rather than prison, but only if it works and is enforced. It appears the community orders are not being properly enforced based on :-

  • Only just over 50% of offenders given community penalties were actually made to undertake unpaid work in the past 3 years. Why this is the case is unclear, but it doesn’t go down well with victims of crime or deterrence.
  • Between 2008 and 2010 over 360,000 offenders were given community orders on tasks including gardening, removal of graffiti, rubbish collection.
  • The average length of the required activities was 104 hours, generally spread over a year.

What do you think of the above ? Let us know.