HL Deb 17 May 2004 vol 661 cc58-9WA
Lord Marlesford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal, on 11 March (WA 190) whether they will give a breakdown of the figure of £706, being the average cost of supervising and administering 40 hours of community service. [HL2270]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal)

The unit cost of a 40 hour Community Punishment Order will vary according to a number of factors. These include:

  • the type of work undertaken and the distance involved in attending or supervising a placement;
  • whether the offender undertakes in the course of their order extra activities designed to improve their employment-related skills;
  • whether the offender complies with an order or breaches it incurring the additional costs of a court appearance;
  • local arrangements for staffing and supervision of offenders.

However, a costing exercise undertaken in 2002–03 with local probation boards indicated that the average length of an order is 116.5 hours and the average cost £2,005. The average cost of a 40 hour order—the shortest possible—is £706.

The cost of such an order can be broken down into staffing costs and scheme delivery costs.

£ per average order £ per 40-hour order
Staffing costs 1,020 350
Scheme delivery costs1 1,035 355
Total costs 2,055 706
1Scheme delivery costs include provision of transport and equipment for work placements; staff training to ensure that the delivery of the enhanced community punishment scheme is of high quality and the tutoring of offenders in key skills as a means of increasing their employability, thereby reducing the likelihood of them reoffending.