23 March 2012
£50,000 IN UNPAID COURT FINES
Duncan McNeil MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde has expressed concern at the fact that £50,000 worth of fines issued by the Procurator Fiscal have gone unpaid.
The Procurator Fiscal in some circumstances can offer offenders fiscal fines as an alternative to a criminal conviction.
Housing breaking, assault, theft and fraud are examples of crimes that an offender can receive a fiscal fine for.
The system of issuing fiscal fines has received widespread criticism when it emerged that more than half of the total value of fines imposed since the system was introduced in 2008 have yet to be paid.
Official figures showed that £14.6 million worth of direct penalties have been handed out since fiscal fines were introduced – but only £7.6m has been paid by offenders.
Figures for Greenock highlight that a third of fiscal fines issued in 2010-11 have gone unpaid with £30,000 still in arrears while figures for 2009-10 show that a fifth of fines were unpaid with £17,000 still in arrears.
Duncan McNeil said;
“It is important to victims that offenders are brought to Justice and that they face up to the responsibility of their actions.
“It is disappointing to see such a disregard for the victims of crime and the criminal Justice System”
“In order to maintain public faith in the Justice System it is vital that the victims of crime are compensated”