Fines collection rates continue on the recovery from COVID impact

Aug 18, 2022


The latest Quarterly Fines Report 53 is published today by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and shows continuing progress in the collection of fines as enforcement recovers from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The collection rates, which take in fines over a three-year period, show improvement across all fine and penalty types over the last quarter, including in both value and number. The three year rate for Sheriff Court fines by value paid or on track to be paid remains consistently strong at 89%.

Penalties collected under the Victim Surcharge, which provides funds to victim services, have also reached the £500,000 milestone, with £101,000 collected in the last quarter. The total now sits at £547,000 – 79% of the value of such penalties issued to 31 March 2022.

The overall collection performance reflects continuing and targeted action by Fines Enforcement Officers. However, SCTS recognises that individuals face the very real risk of suffering significant financial hardship at this time and continues to provide information, advice and support to those who are struggling to maintain their payments.

Anyone looking for advice or information, can access it easily via our national telephone helpline or online form.

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 53, SCTS Executive Director of Court Operations David Fraser said: “The latest figures continue to show welcome progress as we recover from the effects of the pandemic, with fine collection rates rising across the board.

“The significant increase in the collection of the Victim Surcharge, which has surpassed the £500,000 mark, is particularly welcome. The total now sits at almost £550,000.

“We continue to recognise that the current economic climate may impact on people’s ability to pay fines and urge anyone who is struggling to pay to get in touch with us so we can provide 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.


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