HC Deb 17 November 1977 vol 939 cc298-9W
40. Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to extend the community service arrangements to allow orders to be made where fines are unpaid and for other relevant offences; and if he will introduce a pilot scheme to allow such extensions to be evaluated.

Mr. John

Section 49 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972 cannot, unlike the basic community service arrangements themselves, be brought into effect selectively in only one or a limited number of areas. The prior need has to be to extend community service to all parts of England and Wales and to strengthen existing schemes: additional resources for this purpose will be made available in 1978–1979. There would also need to be sufficient resources to cope with the extra work arising out of the implementation of these provisions. I am aware, however, of the interest that has been shown in the extension of community service to fine defaulters, and we propose shortly to consult those concerned on the practical considerations involved. My right hon. Friend has no plans at present for extending community service to categories of offenders for which no statutory provision has yet been made.