§ Mr. Grylls
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average time between sentencing and the start of the community service order in(a) inner London and (b) the rest of the country.
§ Mr. John Patten
The implementation of the national standards for community service orders, which were introduced in April last year, is being monitored through quarterly returns from all probation areas. During the first six months (April to September 1989) the following delays were recorded between sentencing and the start of the community service work, based on the returns received and coded so far:595W
Delays in days Inner London probation areas Areas outside inner London Number per cent. Number per cent. 0 to 6 127 19.00 4,737 47.8 7 to 9 137 20.50 1,912 19.3 10 to 13 139 20.75 1,570 15.8 14 to 20 139 20.75 1,074 10.8 21 and over 127 19.00 627 6.3 669 100.00 9,920 100.0
The most frequent reason for delay in beginning work in inner London was the unavailability of work placements. Other reasons included the offender's failure to turn up for interviews or work, health, domestic or mental problems, further offending, conflicting employment commitments and administrative error.
§ Mr. Grylls
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of criminals sentenced to community service orders completed their full hours.
Mr. John Patte
[holding answer 16 February 1990]: The information requested is published in "Probation Statistics England and Wales 1988" (table 6.11). In 1988, the proportion of community service orders that were terminated on completion of the specified number of hours was 72 per cent.