A new online form has been introduced to help people who may be struggling to pay fines during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) hopes the form and a dedicated helpline will simplify the process for those wanting to seek new payment terms.
Collections have been continuing during the Covid-19 crisis and the SCTS said it recognises some individuals face “significant financial hardship at this time”.
The new measures will allow fines enforcement officers (FEOs) to provide information and advice to those struggling to maintain payments.
SCTS chief operations officer David Fraser said: “We recognise the impact that coronavirus can have on fines payers, which is why we are making it easier for customers to seek information, advice and support.
“However, this does not mean that fine payment can be avoided and FEOs will still employ robust sanctions against those who continue to default on their fines unless they are able to evidence/demonstrate reasonable cause.
“The message to fines customers remains clear – continue to pay your fines or contact our fines enforcement team if you are struggling to pay your fine.
“Doing nothing is not an option.”
It comes as the latest quarterly fines report published by the SCTS on Thursday suggests the three-year collection rates for penalties remains steady.
The value of sheriff court fines imposed during the three-year period between 2016/17 and 2019/20, and now either paid or on track to be paid as of April 20 this year, is 91%.
More detailed analysis of the coronavirus impact on collections will be available in the next report in August.
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