Pay up or be locked up - warning

FINE evaders in Suffolk were today warned to pay up or be locked up after it emerged more than £2.5million in court fines have not been paid.Although the unpaid amount has been slashed by 25 per cent in the past four years, from more than £3.

FINE evaders in Suffolk were today warned to pay up or be locked up after it emerged more than £2.5million in court fines have not been paid.

Although the unpaid amount has been slashed by 25 per cent in the past four years, from more than £3.5million, the county's courts are determined to recoup more of the cash.

A nationally co-ordinated blitz, under the banner of Operation Payback 3, is now being launched in a bid to drive home the message.

Paul Durrant, of Suffolk's courts service, said: “Enforcement and the collection of all outstanding debt is a top priority for all the magistrates' courts in Suffolk.

“Operation Payback 3 highlights fine enforcement but Suffolk strives to achieve a consistent high level of performance in this area throughout the year.

“I would advise anyone in Suffolk who is failing to pay their fines to contact their local magistrates courts office as soon as possible to arrange payment. The alternative is to run the risk of being arrested”

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Fine dodgers also face the possibility of having their car clamped and benefits cut.

The latest crackdown follows the success of two previous campaigns, which netted nearly £2.5million.

The Government currently has a target to collect 81 per cent of court imposed fines.

In the four months between April and August, the collection rate for Suffolk is 112pc, meaning the overall debt was reduced.

Nationally, £438 million of financial penalties is currently outstanding in England and Wales.

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