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Clamping down on fine dodgers

ImageBy Hayley Parr

Scottish courts will be given new powers to crack down on fine dodgers.

This comes as a plan to lower the £18.5m outstanding uncollected court fines in Scotland.

By granting access to information held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWO) and other Whitehall departments it is hoped that tracking the fine defaulters will be easier and the process of collecting will be faster.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill put forward this proposition to the UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith who confirmed that the Scottish Court Service should have access to (DWP) information.  

Scotland will now be given information which is currently available to fine enforcement teams in England and Wales.

DVLA records will also be available to allow the clamping of vehicles owned by fine dodgers to help secure speedy payments.

Mr MacAskill said in his announcement that the collection of fines was crucial to the justice process and the upholding of law and deterring crime.

He also continued to say that the collection rates are improving but there is scope to improve further if they were given access to key information held about offenders.

Supporting the plan is Conservative John Lamont however he questioned why it has taken SNP so long to give the courts this necessary power.

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