Fines collection rates hold steady
Fines collection rates have been steady during the pandemic with three-year rates showing percentage rises, according to the latest figures from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.
The three-year collection rates for all fine/penalty types show improvement for both value and number when the figures as at 19 October 2020 are compared with those as at 19 January 2021.
The three-year rate for sheriff court fines, by value paid or on track to be paid, is up two percentage points at 88 per cent. The collection rate for Justice of the Peace Court fines is also up two percentage points at 87 per cent.
Figures on collection of the victim surcharge show continuing progress with more than £87,000 now collected. This amounts to 74 per cent of the value of these penalties having been paid – a rise of one percentage point from last quarter’s figure. The victim surcharge penalty was introduced by the Scottish government at the end of 2019 on fines relating to offences committed on or after 25 November 2019.
Chief operations officer David Fraser said: “These figures continue to show reassuring progress during the continuing Covid-19 crisis.
“We recognise the impact that Coronavirus can have on fines payers and we are maintaining additional support, with information and advice, to take account of that. The strong rates over time, evident in this report, show that our processes and systems are maintaining efficient collection during the Covid-19 crisis.
“We will employ robust sanctions against offenders who we are satisfied have failed to pay without reasonable excuse. The message to fines customers remains clear – continue to pay your fines or seek advice if you are struggling. Doing nothing is not an option.”