Courts: Fines

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 7th March 2022.

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Photo of Lord Wasserman Lord Wasserman Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost to the Exchequer of enforcing court fines in England and Wales for (1) 2016, (2) 2017, (3) 2018, (4) 2019, and (5) 2020.

Photo of Lord Wolfson of Tredegar Lord Wolfson of Tredegar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The National Compliance and Enforcement Service (NCES) is a division of HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) responsible on behalf of the courts for the collection and enforcement of court-imposed financial penalties, which includes fines, and the disbursement of funds to third parties. The total spend position for the NCES over the period in question is provided in the below table:

Financial Year

£000

2016-17

59,930

2017-18

61,184

2018-19

60,433

2019-20

59,958

2020-21

52,029

Costs of collection and enforcement are not separable from the costs of disbursements of compensation to victims, victim surcharge, costs to the Crown Prosecution Service and other prosecution costs. Nor is it possible to break down the specific cost of pursuing unpaid court imposed financial penalties against the cost of administering financial penalties that are paid. Furthermore, it should be noted that the NCES shares a number of services with other areas across HMCTS and the MoJ (e.g. shared buildings, IT etc), the cost for which cannot be separated, and that these figures represent therefore only partial costs using a cost modelling approach.

In addition, there are costs to HMCTS if cases are referred back to court for enforcement hearings which we are unable to break down.

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