To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of instances in which enforcement agent fees paid by a defendant were transferred directly by HM Courts and Tribunal Services to enforcement agents in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the amounts transferred in that period.
The table below sets out the total number of financial imposition accounts that were opened in the last five years and the total value imposed on those accounts.
Number of financial imposition accounts opened
Total value of financial impositions ordered.
2015/16 to December (latest published period)
The figures above include impositions for fines, compensation, victim surcharge, prosecution costs and in 2015/16, criminal courts charge. One financial imposition account can include one or any combination of the different imposition types.
The table below shows the amount HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has paid to approved enforcement agents (AEAs) for the enforcement of arrest warrants in the last five years. Arrest warrants can include some that are not related to the collection of outstanding fines such as community penalty breach warrants but it is not possible to split these out. HMCTS does not pay AEAs for the execution of warrants of control.
Amount paid to AEAs
The number of warrants of control issued to AEAs for the enforcement of outstanding financial impositions in the last year was 602,695 and there were also 32,446 arrest warrants issued to AEAs. These warrants can relate to amounts imposed in the year or any previous year.
If an offender makes a payment on a financial imposition after a warrant of control has been issued and referred to the AEA, HMCTS transfers the full payment to the AEA to enable them to reconcile their accounts and take the fee owed to them and they then return any balance owed to HMCTS. The Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act states that the AEA is entitled to retain the first £75 of any amount paid on a warrant and then their fees are retained on a pro rata basis with the balance paid to HMCTS. It is not possible to identify how many times offenders make a payment direct to HMCTS once a warrant has been issued.
The management of work to and from the AEAs is a function carried out by a number of staff within the Compliance and Enforcement Service of HMCTS alongside a number of other tasks and it is not possible to segregate this to identify how many full time equivalent officials facilitate work with the AEAs. There is one full time individual whose main role is to manage the contract relationship with the AEAs and monitor performance against the agreed KPIs.