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Last Updated: Monday, 4 April, 2005, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
New court powers target disorder
Offenders will be ordered to carry out work in the community
Courts are to test new powers which will allow them to force offenders to perform unpaid work in the community to make amends for anti-social behaviour.

Community Reparation Orders can be imposed on those convicted of less serious crimes from Monday.

The orders, which will be trialled in Dundee, Inverness and Greenock, will force offenders to work between 10 and 100 hours for no pay.

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson said courts were being given wider powers.

Community Service Orders already exist for graver crimes.

It could mean that the yob who smashed a window spends a week repairing windows
Cathy Jamieson
Justice Minister

The new orders, which can be used in cases heard without a jury in the district and sheriff courts, have been introduced as part of the controversial Anti-social Behaviour Act.

The three trial areas were chosen because they are a mix of urban and semi-rural populations.

Decisions on what type of work will be carried out will be taken by local authorities.

Ms Jamieson said: "The executive is committed to giving the courts access to the widest possible range of sentencing options, helping ensure each sentence fits the crime and creating a swifter, smarter justice system.

"Community Reparation Orders are an excellent example of this.

"That could mean that the yob who smashed a window spends a week repairing windows - putting something back into the community while giving them an opportunity to enhance their life skills."



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