Fines collection rates show rises

May 20, 2021

The latest Quarterly Fines Report 48 is published today by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and shows that fines collection rates are making consistent progress against the problems presented by the Coronavirus crisis.

The three year collection rates for all fine/penalty types show percentage point increases for both value and number when the figures as at 19 January 2021 are compared with those as at 19 April 2021.

The three-year rates for Sheriff Court fines and Justice of the Peace Court fines, by value paid or on track to be paid, are both up one percentage point at 89% and 88% respectively. The collection rates for Fiscal Penalties and Police Fixed Penalties by value paid or on track, have risen to 76% (up three percentage points) and 81% (up one point) respectively. 

More than 60% of the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued by police in relation to Coronavirus have been fully paid, amounting to 48% of the value of these penalties – a rise in value of 7 percentage points from the last quarter.

The collection performance reflects continuing and targeted action by Fines Enforcement Officers. However, SCTS has recognised that individuals face the very real risk of suffering significant financial hardship during the Coronavirus crisis and has focussed on fines collection measures that also enable officers to provide information, advice and support to customers who are struggling to maintain their payments. An online form has been introduced to simplify the process for customers to seek information and advice.

Liability to pay fines remains, however, and failure to engage with fines officers will result in enforcement action being taken. Customers can pay easily using our 24/7 online and telephone payment channels.  

Figures on collection of the Victim Surcharge also show continuing progress with more than £152,900 now collected. This amounts to 75% of the value of these penalties having been paid – a rise of one percentage point from last quarter’s figure. The Victim Surcharge penalty was introduced by the Scottish Government at the end of 2019 on fines relating to offences committed on or after 25 November 2019.

Commenting on QFR 48, Chief Operations Officer David Fraser said: “These figures continue to show reassuring progress during the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

“We recognise the impact that Coronavirus can have on fines payers and we are maintaining additional support, with information and advice, to take account of that. The strong rates over time, evident in this report, show that our processes and systems are maintaining efficient collection during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We will employ robust sanctions against offenders who we are satisfied have failed to pay without reasonable excuse. The message to fines customers remains clear – continue to pay your fines or seek advice if you are struggling. Doing nothing is not an option.”

Fines Enforcement Units have a number of measures available to pursue non-payers. These include freezing bank accounts, arresting earnings, clamping vehicles or obtaining arrest warrants.

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.



  • 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.
  • Information on how to pay fines can be found on our website at: 

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