Fine dodger pays up an hour after van clamped

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A fine dodger who had avoided paying his fine for months stumped up just an hour after finding that his van had been clamped.

The Shawlands man owed £200 for using an unlicensed vehicle and had repeatedly ignored warning letters. But when the man found that his Ford Transit van had been clamped after fines enforcement officers at Glasgow JP Court issued a vehicle seizure order, he stumped up the money an hour later.

And he also had to pay an extra £68 for the clamping fine.

Drivers face having their vehicles clamped if they do not settle their fines and have to pay additional clamping costs and mounting daily fees when a car is taken into storage Vehicles are ultimately scrapped or sold off if they do not settle their fines.

A new electronic interface between the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) and the DVLA vehicle database has enhanced the ability to track down drivers with unpaid fines.

Clamping vehicles is one of a number of measures available to the SCTS for recovering unpaid fines. Other measures include freezing bank accounts, arresting wages, taking money directly from benefits and even arresting non-payers when they are travelling through ports and airports.

A new report released by SCTS today reveals that the fines collection rate remains consistently strong. It shows that 87% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2017 has either been paid or is on track to be paid – a rise of one percentage point compared with the figure at April 10, 2018. Of JP Court fines imposed from April, 1 2017 to March, 31 2018, 80 per cent by value has been paid or is on track to be paid by instalments.

David Fraser, SCTS chief operations officer said: “The fines enforcement teams continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines – 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 arrestment of wages, bank accounts, your car being clamped or inconvenience and embarrassment by being arrested when travelling abroad.”

In all cases, offenders have opportunities to make payment of their fines at a reasonable and affordable instalment rate. All defaulters are issued warnings before action is taken.

Those in genuine financial difficulty can engage with enforcement officers to discuss payment terms.

Most fines can be paid round the clock on our secure website at www.scotcourts.gov.uk/payyourfine or using our automated telephone payment system by phoning 0300 790 0003. Only fines which involve the endorsement of a driving record cannot be paid electronically at the moment.

For those penalties that cannot be paid using the online or telephone payment systems, customers can post payments to Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Central Processing Unit, PO Box 23, Glasgow, G59 9DA or take it in person to any Scottish court fines office.