Press Release, 14th May 2013
150,000 fines divided by 26 Fines Enforcement Officers doesn’t work
Labour MSP Duncan McNeil has called on the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, to increase the number of dedicated enforcement officers responsible for recovering criminal fines.
Across Scotland there are currently 150,000 fines that remain unpaid, yet there are only 26 Fines Enforcement Officers for the whole country. That amounts to over 5,000 fines per officer.
The call comes on the back of an announcement made by the Justice Secretary which will see FEO’s given direct access to information held by the Department for Work and Pensions and other UK departments.
This will include such information as offenders benefit details and their national insurance numbers.
Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil said:
“150,000 fines divided by 26 Fines Enforcement Officers simply doesn’t work. Effectively, enforcement officers have 5,500 fines each still to chase up. If we are to make serious inroads into the number of unpaid fines then the reality is that we need more enforcement officers. You can have access to all the information you like, but if you don’t have the resource to bring offenders to book, then little progress can be made”.