Police crack down on court fine evaders

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MORE than £10,000 in court fines from Worthing and Adur has been recovered by Sussex Police and Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS).

Court fine evaders in Worthing and Adur have been targeted in a two day operation by Sussex Police and Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS).

HMCS court warrant officers and police from the West Downs Division made visits on Wednesday, February 2, and Friday, February 11, to those who have either defaulted or refused to pay their fines.

Over the two days 11 arrests were made by police and court warrant officers and seven people surrendered themselves to court.

So far, £10,846 in fines has been recovered and this figure is expected to rise in the coming weeks.

The action is part of Operation Crackdown – a campaign launched by HMCS.

Inspector Chris Collins, of the Sussex Police warrant enforcement bureau, said: “This operation is yet another example of the close working relationship between the magistrates’ courts and the police in Sussex.

“People who avoid paying fines imposed by the court must realise they cannot get away with it and they will be held to account.”

Julia Eeles, HMCS area director for Kent, Surrey and Sussex, said: “Our message to fine dodgers is clear: pay up now or face the consequences.

“The courts will do everything within their powers to trace those who do not pay. Money can be taken from an offender’s earnings or from benefits if they are unemployed.

“Warrants can be issued instructing court-employed agents to seize and sell goods belonging to the offender. Ultimately an offender can be imprisoned for non-payment of their fine.”