Angus Council failed to hit payback orders target

Too many offenders are failing to complete community payback orders, Angus Council has admitted.

New figures in a report to the social work and health committee show completion rates for CPOs in 2013/14, which involved either unpaid work in the community or supervision, fell significantly compared to the previous year and were well below the targets set.

The council has blamed a lack of resources and said it has been finding it difficult to cope with the workload.

Courts can sentence offenders to up to 300 hours of unpaid work. Recent cases in Angus have involved offences including assault, domestic abuse, theft, shoplifting, using counterfeit money and drink-driving.

Offenders have done work such as snow clearing and gritting, beach clean-ups and other environmental projects.

Angus Council had set itself a target of 85% of these orders being completed in 2013/14, but it managed only 73%. That was a drop of 10.6% compared to the previous year.

Planned improvements to try to turn around performance include the setting up of a women-only team, allowing more female offenders to undertake work in the community rather than on individual placements.

An extra Sunday team is also being created to allow more offenders with jobs during the week to complete their hours.

Projects including a community garden and a bike workshop are also being developed.