Aberdeen - Scottish Courts

A law student in Aberdeen found payment deducted directly from his bank account when he failed
to pay fines for offences including road traffic matters.
Despite repeated letters and warnings, the law student failed to make any payment towards his
fines or engage with enforcement officers to set up a payment plan. The Scottish Court Service (SCS)
finally approached officials at his bank and deducted £1200 directly from his account.
Meanwhile, a woman was saved from being arrested at the airport on her return from Africa when
her brother paid her £140 outstanding fine while she was abroad.
These are just two in a string of enforcement orders carried out in the Aberdeen area by the SCS in
the past three months.
As well as in the city, employers were approached in Elgin, Inverness and Peterhead, where
thousands of pounds were deducted from wages after defaulters failed to keep up with payments
on fines imposed for speeding, breach of the peace, drink driving and other traffic violations. The
defaulters were employed in offshore oil, waste management and nursing home care, among other
When fines go unpaid, the SCS has a range of enforcement measures in place, which in
addition to deducting payment directly from wages, savings and benefits, includes clamping,
seizing and ultimately selling cars.
And, following a recent announcement, fine enforcement officers are to be granted access
to a wealth of information held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other
Whitehall departments to help crackdown on defaulters.
“Having access to this information will help us speed up the process of fine collection and
make it more efficient,” explains SCS Chief Operations Officer Cliff Binning. “For example, we
will be able to track a defaulter who moves from benefits into work through DWP
information. These additional tools will make it easier for us to tackle those who try to avoid
Fines collection rates remain strong and a report issued today (30 May) shows that 88% of
the value of sheriff court fines imposed over the three year period from 2009/10 to 2011/12
has either been paid or is on track to be paid through instalments.
As of April this year, more than 460,000 enforcement orders have been granted, while
payment deducted directly from benefits during the last financial year reached £2 million.
For offenders in genuine need of assistance, the SCS can offer advice. “There is no excuse
for offenders not to pay their fines or contact our enforcement team for advice,” says Mr
Binning. “Payment can now be made online, by phone, by post or in person at any sheriff
court or justice of the peace court, making it easier than ever.”
Online facilities allow most fines to be paid round the clock and during the last financial
year, electronic payments reached £3.4 million.
Most fines can be paid on the secure website at www.scotcourts.gov.uk/payyourfine by
completing five easy steps using a debit or credit card. Only fines which involve the
endorsement of a driving licence with penalty points cannot be paid electronically including
some police traffic tickets and penalties issued by the Safety Camera Partnerships for
speeding or running a red light. In these instances offenders can post their licence to:
Scottish Court Service, Central Processing Unit, PO Box 23, Glasgow, G59 9DA or take it in
person to any Scottish court.
Fine defaulters are not named for data protection reasons.
A copy of the most recent SCS Quarterly Fines Report is available at:
Many fines are paid by instalments over the course of two or more years which will
affect collection rate figures.
Most of the money collected through fines payment is sent to the UK Treasury under
devolution arrangements set up within the Scotland Act 1998.
Contact: SCS Communications: 0131 444 3310 or out of hours: 07824550923