Scottish Government report highlights benefits of community payback orders

Wooden boardwalk on River Tweed at Tweedbank

Published: Wednesday, 15th February 2017

The Scottish Government has published its fifth annual report on the delivery of community payback orders (CPOs) by Criminal Justice Social Work Services and their partners across Scotland.

The Community Payback Order: Scottish Government Summary of Local Authority Annual Reports was published on 9 February. It provides an overview of local authority delivery of CPOs for 2015-16 and highlights the work that is being carried out across the country to the benefit of local communities.

Unpaid work projects in the Borders

People subject to unpaid work in the Borders made a significant contribution to a wide range of projects in 2015-16. This was carried out under the supervision of the Criminal Justice service to give people the chance to pay back to communities and learn a range of skills in a positive and motivated environment.

Repairs to flood damage

Work organised through the Countryside Access team and Ranger Service saw people subject to unpaid work playing a vital role in bringing the countryside path network back into safe use following the 2015/16 winter flood damage. This included repairs to:

  • damaged paths and fencing along the Teviot between Denholm and Hawick
  • steps and paths along the Tweed near Roxburgh Castle
  • landslips and water damage along paths in the Jedburgh area.

Improvements to paths network and in local communities

Other projects included: 

  • A new path link was developed along the Kale Water through Crailing, Eckford and Nisbet, running along the new Jubilee Path which links the Great Trails Borders Abbeys Way and St Cuthbert’s Way.
  • Coldstream, Swinton, Selkirk, St Boswells, Hawick and Lanton benefitted from path clearance, new boardwalks and upgrades or replacements of steps.
  • A disabled ramp was constructed for residents of a supported living project in Hawick which has considerably increased their independence and access to the town.
  • Melrose in Bloom benefited from a comprehensive renovation of all park and street benches in the town and renovation of picnic tables at the local playpark.
  • Lauder Tennis Club was given a new access path and bridge and an upgrade to the facility to increase community participation.
  • Just Cycle, a charity which recycles and renovates second hand bicycles before selling them on a low cost, were able to increase the capacity of the project and give opportunities to people who were not suitable for other placements due to health or other reasons.

Councillor Frances Renton, Executive Member for Social Work and Housing

“The diverse range of projects and activities undertaken by people subject to a CPO across the Borders is to be commended, not only for the benefits that people subject to unpaid work will have received but also for the improvements that have been made to local communities. It is also encouraging to see the different opportunities being made available through engagement with schemes like Just Cycle.

“It is worth noting that this is just a sample of what is being achieved and the Criminal Justice service is always keen to hear from local groups or organisations who may have ideas for new projects that would be suitable for them to undertake. I would therefore encourage anyone who may be interested to contact the team to see what might be possible.”

More information

  • Images available from Flickr
  • The Community Payback Order: Scottish Government Summary of Local Authority Annual Reports 2015-16 is available on the Scottish Government website
  • The total number of unpaid work hours completed within Scottish Borders for 2015/16 was 12,991.

To find out more contact Criminal Justice online or on 01896 664140.