Crackdown On Fine Dodgers

Six hundred of the Scotland's 'worst fine dodgers' are being targeted in a crackdown by the Scottish Court Service on those who attempt to 'avoid the ends of justice'.

The range of tactics being used by the court service in their pursuit of those who don't pay up includes seizing wages, freezing bank accounts, deducting money from benefits and clamping vehicles.

The announcement comes as the latest fines collection figures are published by the Scottish Court Service.

The figures show that overall fine collection rates in Scotland are consistently high with 88% of the value of Sheriff Court fines over the three year period (April 1 2006 to March 31, 2009) either fully paid or on track to be paid through installments.

Around 94% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed in year 2006-7 has either been paid fully or is on track to be paid, illustrating the commitment to recovering outstanding fines which can be paid over a number of years.

Fiscal direct penalties stand at 60% either fully paid or on track to be paid by instalments. This compares to around a 40% collection rate prior to the programme of Summary Justice Reform.

Eric McQueen, Director of Field Services, Scottish Court Service said: "Many people accept their punishment of a fine and pay up without a problem but fine dodgers can no longer hide.

"We are hitting the worst defaulters hardest but the message to anyone with a fine is that your fine must be paid. If you don't, using new tracing systems, we will not hesitate to seize your wages, arrest your bank account or deduct payment from your benefits.

"We have increased our use of these direct sanctions by almost 60% over the past two months. Our enforcement sanctions are working and we are now accelerating their use.

"Don't think your fine will go away - it won't - and the consequences of non-payment are severe."


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