Dangerous dog fines dodgers feel the bite

Feb 28, 2019

Fines enforcement officers put the bite on two fines dodgers who owed large sums of money for failing to keep their dangerous dogs under control, successfully recovering the unpaid monies.

A Moodiesburn man who owed £1,300 after being fined for the offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in August 2017 quickly settled the amount after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The man was convicted at Hamilton Sheriff Court of not having his Staffordshire Terrier under control and allowing it to bite a passer-by repeatedly.

And a Glasgow woman fined £1,070 at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court for the same offence of not having her dog under control in 2016 ignored repeated warning letters and attempts to get her to pay her debt. But she got a nasty shock when fines officers issued a Bank Arrestment Order freezing her account and the money was quickly paid in full.

Bank arrestment orders and arrest warrants are among a number of measures available to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) for recovering unpaid fines. Other enforcement measures include clamping vehicles, arresting earnings or taking money directly from benefits and arresting non-payers travelling through ports and airports.

A new report released by SCTS today reveals that the fines collection rate remains consistently strong. It shows that 89% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between 2015/16 and 2017/18 has either been paid or is on track to be paid – a rise of one percentage point compared with the figure at 22 October, 2018. The report shows that 89% of JP Court fines by value imposed over the three-year period has been paid or is on track to be paid by instalments also a rise of one percentage point compared with the figure at 22 October, 2018.

The new edition of the report contains enhanced presentation of the statistics, using charts and tables, designed to give the scale and context of the three-year figures. The changes have been made in response to customer feedback on the document.

SCTS Chief Operations Officer David Fraser said: “The fines enforcement teams continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines – ignoring your fine and not speaking to an enforcement officer if you are having difficulty paying is very unwise. Failure to pay, or to engage with our officers, will result in strong sanctions being taken including arrestment of wages, bank accounts, your car being clamped or inconvenience and embarrassment by being arrested when travelling abroad.”

In all cases, offenders have opportunities to make payment of their fines at a reasonable and affordable instalment rate. All defaulters are issued warnings before action is taken. Those in genuine financial difficulty can engage with enforcement officers to discuss payment terms.

Most fines can be paid round the clock on our secure website at or using our automated telephone payment system by phoning 0300 790 0003. Only fines which involve the endorsement of a driving record cannot be paid electronically at the moment. For those penalties that cannot be paid using the online or telephone payment systems, customers can post payments to Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Central Processing Unit, PO Box 23, Glasgow, G59 9DA or take it in person to any Scottish court fines office.



•          Fine defaulters are not named for data protection reasons.

•         A copy of the most recent SCTS Quarterly Fines Report is available at:  

•         Many fines are paid by instalments over the course of two or more years which will affect collection rate figures.

•         Warrants can be granted by the Judiciary following a referral by a Fines Enforcement Officer.

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