Fines collection rates show rises
Fines collection rates are making consistent progress against the problems presented by the coronavirus crisis, the latest report from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service shows.
The three-year collection rates for all fine/penalty types show percentage point increases for both value and number when the figures as at 19 January 2021 are compared with those as at 19 April 2021.
The three-year rates for Sheriff Court fines and Justice of the Peace Court fines, by value paid or on track to be paid, are both up one percentage point at 89 per cent and 88 per cent respectively. The collection rates for fiscal penalties and police fixed penalties by value paid or on track, have risen to 76 per cent (up three percentage points) and 81 per cent (up one point) respectively.
More than 60 per cent of the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued by police in relation to Covid-19 have been fully paid, amounting to 48 per cent of the value of these penalties – a rise in value of 7 percentage points from the last quarter.
Figures on collection of the victim surcharge also show continuing progress with more than £152,900 now collected. This amounts to 75 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.”