1. Table of contents

Community payback order

The community payback order was introduced in 2011 as a direct alternative to custody. It can be imposed for offences committed after 1st February 2011 and from that date, replaces separate probation, community service and supervised attendance orders.

One or more of the following requirements can be imposed as part of the community payback order :

  • unpaid work or other activity
  • offender supervision
  • compensation
  • residence
  • conduct
  • programme
  • drug treatment
  • alcohol treatment
  • mental health treatment.

If an offender has breached the terms of their CPO in the past a requirement for them to be electronically monitored can also be imposed. The court and the social worker can also ask for the CPO to be reviewed at any time if the offender's compliance, risk or needs have changed.

If an offender is sentenced to between 20 and 100 hours it is classified as a level 1 requirement and must be completed within 3 months. Unpaid work for a period of between 101 and 300 hours is classified as a level 2 requirement and must be completed within 6 months.

Some examples of unpaid work carried out as part of a community payback order are :

  • environmental improvements
  • graffiti removal
  • gardening
  • painting
  • decorating
  • refurbishing buildings
  • assistance and support for the elderly or disabled.

Restriction of liberty order

The court can use a curfew system (known as a restriction of liberty order or tag) to reduce the offender’s opportunities for criminal activity. This can also protect the community from anti-social behaviour.

The tag is placed round the ankle of an offender and a monitor is placed in the offender’s house. For a set period each day, normally between the hours when offending has previously taken place, the offender is confined to the house. Alternatively the monitor can be placed at an address which the offender is forbidden from approaching or entering.

Fine supervision order

When imposing a fine, the court may order social work staff to supervise the offender until the fine is paid. The social work staff can offer advice about how the fine can be dealt with. If it still isn’t paid, the individual provides a report for the court and the necessary actions are taken.