No escape from paying court fines

A WOMAN with an outstanding fine issued in England for failing to provide car details to the police could not escape paying up even after moving north of the border.

The Scottish Court Service (SCS) traced the woman to Duns and issued a bank arrestment order taking the full payment from her savings.

The courts can use a range of enforcement measures including arresting wages, deducting benefits, freezing bank accounts and clamping cars.

“This action shows that you cannot escape your fine even by moving address,” said SCS executive director Eric McQueen.

“We have tracing facilities in place to help us pursue all outstanding fines whether for a road traffic matter or court penalty.”

Fines collection continues to be strong across Scotland and a report issued this week shows that 90% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed over a three year period from 2008 to 2011 has either been paid or is on track to be paid through instalments.

Since 2008, more than 430,000 enforcement orders have been granted by the courts and more than 94,000 of these have been for deductions from benefits. Enforcement officers have also agreed revised terms in 140,000 accounts.

Online facilities now enable most fines to be paid round the clock. Just over 8,000 transactions totalling £350,000 were made through this site last month (July), with online payments reaching £1.8 million during the 2011-12 financial year. Most fines can be paid on the secure website at www.scotcourts.gov.uk/payyourfine by completing five easy steps using a debit or credit card.