Lib Dem attack over community service delays

There are claims Scottish councils aren't meeting 7 day targets for offenders to begin placements.

The Lib Dems are slamming the Government after an investigation into how long it takes some offenders to start their sentence.

They claim in some places they're left to "kick their heels" for almost a month before beginning work.

Through data gathered in a freedom of information request 9 local authorities showed waiting periods of up to 28 days before the order got underway.

The party did not receive any details about the time its takes convicts to start community service from six councils - with five failing to respond to the request and Edinburgh City Council stating it did not hold the information.

Of the 26 councils who responded, there were seven where less than half of all community service placements in September 2010 started within the target of seven days.

In West Lothian 12% of placements got under way within a week, while 24% started after 29 days.

However the information for September showed that in both South Ayrshire and Stirling all community service placements began within seven days.

And in 18 local authorities at least half of those sentenced to community service started their placements within a week.

The Scottish Government says these figures just prove targets are being met quicker than ever before.