Community Payback Orders

The Community Payback Order was introduced as the main community based sentence to Scottish courts by the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. It can be imposed for offences committed after 1 February 2011. This will ultimately replace the sentencing options of Probation Orders, Community Service Orders and Supervised Attendance Orders. The two systems are running at the same time for at least three years.

A Community Payback Order (CPO) may consist of a number of requirements. The court can select one or more when deciding on the make-up of the order. They can be tailored specifically to each offender based on the nature of your offending and the underlying issues which are fuelling it.

The requirements are:

  • unpaid work or other activity requirement - previously known as community service
  • offender supervision requirement
  • compensation requirement
  • programme requirement
  • mental health treatment requirement
  • drug treatment requirement
  • alcohol treatment requirement
  • residence requirement
  • conduct requirement

Orders can be imposed to run for between six months and three years. A court can decide to discharge an order early in circumstances where an offender has made highly positive progress. If an offender breaches a CPO, the court can vary the order to impose new or different requirements. It can decide to impose a restricted movement requirement - electronic monitoring. Ultimately, it can decide to revoke the order and impose a custodial sentence, or any other sentence which it could have used at the start.

Our Community Payback Orders leaflet contains information about CPOs, what is expected of you and what happens if you fail to comply:

If you would like more information, please email us: