Unpaid Fines

Justice written question – answered on 26th July 2010.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Chair, Procedure Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the monetary value was of uncollected fines levied as a result of convictions for criminal offences on the latest date for which figures are available.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The amount outstanding for financial penalties at the end of June 2010 was £597,926,217.

The value of outstanding balance includes the amount owed for fines imposed in the magistrates and Crown courts plus compensation, victims surcharge, costs and the value of unpaid fixed penalty notices that are transferred to HMCS for enforcement as a fine. The outstanding balance has risen through the application of a strict policy that only allows fines to be written off in certain circumstances. The outstanding balance includes fines imposed a number of years ago during the period when fines could not be cancelled (2004-06) and fines which are being paid by instalments. Some of the balance outstanding could be as much as 10 years old.

There was a large increase in the amount outstanding in April 2010 due to one fine for £8.3 million being imposed against a company, of which only £2 million has been paid so far and they have been ordered to pay the remainder in instalments starting from December 2010.

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Posted on 27 Jul 2010 9:12 am (Report this annotation)

Why not collect fines via a tax code change or collection from benefits? If taken from benefits, this amount would still be classed as income so that it actually causes hardship rather than enabling a further claim for more benefits.


This way the money is collected, the offender is punished and the cost of bailiffs and other collection costs are reduced. A clear win-win situation.