Community Service

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th October 1977.

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Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel Leader of the Liberal Party 12:00 am, 26th October 1977

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will bring forward proposals to change the law to enable sentences of community service to be imposed by Scottish courts.

Photo of Mr Bruce Millan Mr Bruce Millan , Glasgow Craigton

As I said in my reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Pent-lands (Mr. Rifkind) on 27th April 1977, an experiment in community service as a condition of a probation order is going ahead in four regions of Scotland without the need for legislative changes. I am now looking at the possibility of introducing community service in Scotland as a disposal in its own right.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel Leader of the Liberal Party

I welcome that answer. I am aware of the experiment, but does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is unfortunate that in Scotland, unlike in England, there is no statutory power for the courts to make community service part of the punishment in a sentence?

Photo of Mr Bruce Millan Mr Bruce Millan , Glasgow Craigton

I agree. We are doing what we can without legislative changes, but I look forward to the opportunity of putting the law on this matter beyond any possible doubt.