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Text messaging to be used to chase unpaid court fines

Antony Savvas

The government’s new National Enforcement Service (NES) is considering using mobile text messages, e-mails and phone calls to persuade people to pay their court fines.

A text messaging trial in Staffordshire is said to have persuaded three-quarters of 150 recipients to pay their outstanding fines, after warning them that they faced jail if they didn’t.

Although the percentage of unpaid fines has actually gone down in recent years, the government has chosen to set up a 4,000-strong enforcement team to mop up the estimated £400m that remains to be paid by offenders.

The NES team will also be responsible for tracking down those that don’t turn up at court at a later date after being given bail.

They also have the power to force employers to dock the pay of those that don’t pay fines and impound their cars.


 


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