South Scotland Conservative MSP Craig Hoy says the government is “letting criminals off lightly” after 5,110 hours of community payback orders were cut – other than those imposed for domestic abuse, sexual offences, or stalking.
Justice minister Humza Youssaf said in January that the move to decrease the imposed hours by 35% was to “help address the unavoidable build-up of unpaid work resulting from essential public health restrictions, while ensuring that those on community orders still serve the majority of their sentences”.
However, Mr Hoy, who also found out in a Freedom of Information request that 262,153 unpaid hours had been wiped out across Scotland, says the number of hours cut in the Borders is “absolutely staggering” and he will continue to push Scottish Conservative plans for a victims la w to be introduced as soon as possible.
He said: “The amount of Community Payback Orders cut by the SNP in the Borders is absolutely staggering.
“They’ve let criminals off the hook by writing off these sentences. That is a total slap in the face to victims of crime across the Borders.
“SNP ministers need to ensure these community sentences are taken seriously and fulfilled.
“It is the latest example of the SNP letting down victims.
"The Scottish Conservatives will continue to push for a victims law to be introduced to put victims first and end the SNP’s soft-touch justice system, by ensuring criminals receive appropriately tough sentences.”