Courts Chase Up Payments

Bailiffs are going to be knocking on doors across the South Coast this month, chasing people who've not paid up court fines.

The courts are warning they'll do everything they can to get the cash they're owed, including seizing people's possessions and taking money out of their benefits.

The month-long campaign has been launched by Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS).

Operation Crackdown will see HMCS Court Enforcement Officers (CEOs) and local police in the South West engaging in a series of blitzes on offenders homes to chase up repayments. Fine dodgers in Bournemouth, Weymouth, Southampton, Swindon and Chippenham will be specifically targeted during November.

Approved Enforcement Agencies will also be issued with warrants to confiscate property. Where necessary, those who refuse to co-operate will be arrested. Court time will be set aside to deal specifically with fine dodgers.

Simon Townley, HMCS Area Director for Dorset, Hampshire & Isle of Wight and Wiltshire, said:

"Our message to fine dodgers is clear: pay up now or face the consequences.

"The courts will do everything within their powers to trace those who do not pay. Money can be taken from an offender’s earnings or from benefits if they are unemployed. Warrants can be issued instructing court employed agents to seize and sell goods belonging to the offender. Ultimately an offender can be imprisoned for non-payment of their fine."

Fines can be paid via the National Fine Payment Line on 0300 790 9901 (England) or 0300 790 9980 (Wales) or online at www.direct.gov.uk/payacourtfine.

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