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Armed Forces Act 2006

Service community orders (civilians and dismissed servicemen only)
Section 178: Service community orders

365.This section defines the service community order. This punishment is available only for offenders aged 18 or over on conviction who are civilians, or will be civilians when the punishment takes effect because they are also being sentenced to dismissal, and are expected to live in the UK. It is broadly equivalent to a community order made under section 177 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”), and most of the provisions that apply to such orders are extended to service community orders.

366.A court making a service community order must impose requirements of the kind that can be included in a community order under the 2003 Act, and must specify the local justice area (in England and Wales), locality (in Scotland) or petty sessions district (in Northern Ireland) where the offender lives or will live.

367.Subsection (2) makes the power to include requirements in a service community order subject to broadly the same restrictions as the power to include them in a community order under the 2003 Act.

368.Subsections (3) to (6) apply further provisions of the 2003 Act on community orders to service community orders.

Section 179: Periodic review etc of service community orders

369.Section 210 of the 2003 Act enables, and in some cases requires, a community order imposing a drug rehabilitation requirement to provide for that requirement to be periodically reviewed by a court. This is one of the provisions extended to service community orders by section 178, but subsection (1) of this section modifies it so that the court required to review the requirement is the Crown Court.

370.Section 211 of the 2003 Act provides for the powers of a court reviewing a drug rehabilitation requirement under a community order. After considering the responsible officer’s report, the court can amend the requirement. It can do so only if the offender agrees to the amendment, but if he does not agree to it the court can re-sentence him for the original offence. This section is extended to service community orders by section 178, but subsection (2) of this section modifies it so that the Crown Court can exercise its ordinary sentencing powers rather than those of the service court that made the order.

371.Subsection (3) ensures that an offender re-sentenced by the Crown Court under these provisions can appeal against the sentence.

Section 180: Transfer of service community order to Scotland or Northern Ireland

372.Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 9 to the 2003 Act enable a civilian court in England and Wales to make a community order where the offender lives or will live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. This section extends those provisions so that in these circumstances a service court can make a service community order.

373.Part 3 of Schedule 9 to the 2003 Act provides for the operation of a community order which requires compliance in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In some circumstances a court in Scotland or Northern Ireland can send the offender back to be dealt with by a court in England and Wales, which might be either the Crown Court or a magistrates’ court. In the case of a service community order, however, the effect of subsection (3) is that the court dealing with the matter in England and Wales will always be the Crown Court.

Section 181: Breach, revocation or amendment of service community order

374.Schedule 8 to the 2003 Act sets out the procedures relating to the enforcement, revocation and amendment of community orders. This section gives effect to Part 1 of Schedule 5 to the Act, which extends Schedule 8 to the 2003 Act so that, with some modifications, the procedures for a service community order are the same as those for a community order under the 2003 Act.

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