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Court Service Acts to Recover Unpaid Fines

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has issued a reminder of the powers it has available to recover unpaid criminal fines.

These enforcement measures include arresting wages, taking money directly from benefits, freezing bank accounts or clamping vehicles. It can also arrest non-payers at ports and airports.

One man, who had failed to pay a £395 fine after being convicted of theft and assault, had ignored repeated warning letters. A warrant was issued and he was arrested at Cairnryan ferry port having arrived on a ferry from Ireland. He was taken to the local police station and then released after paying the outstanding amount in full.

“Jeopardising your travel plans is just not worth it,” commented SCTS Chief Operations Officer David Fraser. “The fines enforcement teams continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines so ignoring your fine and not speaking to an enforcement officer if you are having difficulty paying is very unwise. Failure to pay, or to engage with our officers, will result in strong sanctions being taken including the inconvenience and embarrassment of being arrested when travelling abroad.”

According to its latest report, the SCTS has maintained a strong fines collection rate. The report shows that 86% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2017 has either been paid or is on track to be paid. Of JP Court fines imposed from 1st April to 31st December 2017, 81% by value has been paid or is on track to be paid by instalments.

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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.