Fines collection rates continue on the recovery from COVID impact

May 19, 2022

The latest Quarterly Fines Report 52 is published today by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and shows continuing progress in recovery of fines collection rates from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The three-year collection rates for all fine/penalty types show improvement for both value and number when the figures as at 25 April 2022 are compared with 18 January 2022. The three-year rate for Sheriff Court fines by value paid or on track to be paid in the latest quarter, remains strong at 89%.

Figures on collection of the Victim Surcharge also show continuing progress with more than £446,000 pounds now collected since the introduction of the surcharge. This amount paid to date equates to 79% of the value of these penalties issued to the end of 2021, with a collection of over £91,000 on last quarter. 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.

The overall 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 at this time and it continues to focus 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.  

Commenting on QFR 52, SCTS Executive Director of Court Operations David Fraser said: “The latest figures continue to show reassuring progress in recovery from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, with collection rates rising across the board. The significant increase in the collection of the Victim Surcharge, which is now approaching £500,000 since its introduction, is extremely welcome.

“We recognise the current economic climate could have an impact people’s ability to pay fines.  It is important for anyone who is struggling to pay their fine to get in touch with us so we can provide the information, support and advice.

“We will, however, employ robust sanctions against offenders who we are satisfied have failed to pay without a 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, deducting from benefits, 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 with 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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