Collection rate for Scottish government’s victim surcharge penalty stands at 66 per cent

Collection rate for Scottish government's victim surcharge penalty stands at 66 per cent

The collection rate for Scotland’s new victim surcharge penalty stands at 66 per cent, according to figures from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS).

The 44th quarterly fines report is the first to include information about the collection of the penalty, which was introduced by the Scottish government at the end of 2019.

The report also states that the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between 2016/17 and 2019/20 and now either paid or on track to be paid as at 20 April 2020, is 91 per cent.

Fines collection continues within the restrictions that have arisen from the coronavirus crisis. However, the effects of the virus crisis mean that individuals face the risk of suffering significant financial hardship at this time and, in recognition of this, SCTS has focused on introducing measures that will allow fines enforcement officers (FEOs) to provide information and advice to customers who are struggling to maintain their payments.

Further analysis of the impact of the crisis on fines collection will be undertaken in the next report, which is due to be published in August.

Chief operations Officer David Fraser said: “I am pleased to introduce information on the victim surcharge in this new report. The data will be of great interest to stakeholders and the public and is a further step in openness and transparency around data.

“We recognise the impact that coronavirus can have on fines payers which is why we are making it easier for customers to seek information advice and support. However, this does not mean that fine payment can be avoided and FEOs will still employ robust sanctions against those who continue to default on their fines unless they are able to evidence/demonstrate reasonable cause.

“The message to fines customers remains clear – continue to pay your fines or contact our fines enforcement team if you are struggling to pay your fine. Doing nothing is not an option.”

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