As figures released from the Scottish Courts Service show that more than 46,000 fines have been classed as ‘No Payment Received’ Claire Baker MSP has voiced her concerns that people are getting away ‘scot-free.’
Nationally one third of fines imposed by the police or courts are not being paid with arrears for court fines totalling £6.5 million over the 12 month period between July 2011 and July 2012.
Locally of the fines imposed by the Sheriff Court in Kirkcaldy 12% have made no payment at all, putting Kirkcaldy 3rd in the region behind Dunfermline (13%) and Alloa (18%). All three regions come in over the average for Tayside Central and Fife which stands at 11% for non-payments. 26% are in arrears with their payments, which is again above the regions average of 23% and second only to Stirling (28%).
With regards to justice of the peace payments Kirkcaldy is second in the region for both payments in arrears (15%) and non-payments (13%) against a region average of 11% and 10% respectively.
Commenting on the figures Scottish Labour MSP Claire Baker said:
“These figures are simply unacceptable; nobody should be able to get away scot-free from fines imposed by Scottish courts.
“Payment schemes are available for those who are struggling to pay, but it is unacceptable that there are those who are not paying a single penny towards their fines and this money is being lost from the public purse. Non-payment of fines is unfair on the law abiding people of Kirkcaldy who are working hard and fairly to ensure that they don’t fall behind with their own bills.
“What these figures show is that there is an unacceptable percentage of people ignoring court fines in Fife the SNP Government must ensure that any fines imposed by any court are fully enforceable and collectable.”