§ Mr. Baldry
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he anticipates bringing into force section 49 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972 to enable courts to impose a community service order in lieu of a warrant of commitment for failure to pay a fine.
§ Mr. John Patten
Following consultations with a range of interested bodies, we said, in the White Paper on criminal justice published in March 1986, that we were inclined not to implement this section, since it would add to the complexity and reduce the effectiveness of the fine enforcement process and consume probation service resources without appreciably reducing imprisonment for default. We propose to look again at the possibility of implementing this provision and we shall be seeking further views from the interested bodies.