Travellers heading abroad for the festive season are being warned to ensure that any outstanding fines are paid to prevent their holiday being ruined by an arrest at the airport.
Since April, 266 people have been stopped by police at Scottish airports including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
When offenders default on fine payment despite warnings, arrest warrants can be issued and enforced by the police at air and ferry ports. Unless the outstanding fines are paid on the spot, the defaulters can be arrested and taken into custody throwing holiday plans into ruins.
“If you are planning to spend your festive season abroad this holiday or visit family overseas then you should ensure any outstanding fines are paid,” warned Scottish Court Service (SCS) Executive Director Cliff Binning.
“You do not want to find yourself arrested by the police for ignoring a fine as you try to board a flight.
“Anyone in genuine financial difficulty should contact a fines enforcement officer at their local court to receive advice and assistance on payment plans to get back on track.”
During the past six months, fine defaulters from Ayr and Dunfermline have been stopped at Glasgow Airport.
A Dunfermline woman, who cannot be named for data protection reasons, nearly saw her travel plans in tatters after being pulled aside for failing to pay substantial fines issued at Dunfermline Justice of the Peace Court for various offences including road traffic matters.
She had initially paid some of the money toward the fine, but then stopped, failing to complete forms for a new payment plan.
She was met by police officers at Glasgow Airport where she was aiming to board a holiday flight and paid the outstanding amount in full in order to continue on her trip overseas.
Meanwhile, an Ayr man was stopped by police at the same airport after failing to settle a string of outstanding fines and paid £740 on the spot to avoid being taken into custody.
In addition to arrest warrants, the SCS has other enforcement measures in place to ensure payments which include deducting benefits, wages or savings and clamping cars. During a targeted campaign over the last three months, 46 cars were clamped across Scotland.
Collection rates for all fine types remain strong. During the last six months more than £1 million has been recovered through benefit deductions, while in the last three months, 26,000 enforcement orders have been granted by the courts and 2300 earning arrestment orders have been issued.
Fines are now easier than ever to settle and can be paid online, by phone, by post or in person at any sheriff or justice of the peace court.
£9200 was collected in fine payment since April from Edinburgh airport.
• The other figures are quoted from our most recent fines report – located at
• Contact: SCS Communications: 0131 444 3310 or out of hours: 07824550923