FINE dodgers have started coughing up the cash to avoid the risk of imprisonment.
Richard Perrett, who is running Operation Crackdown for HM Court Service, said the phones at his office have been “ringing off the hook” all week with calls from offenders wanting to settle unpaid court fines.
He told the Examiner: “People are responding very well to the operation and we’ve had to bring in extra staff to deal with all the calls.”
Mr Perrett has been leading Operation Crackdown in which HMCS Court Enforcement Officers and local police in West Yorkshire are engaging in a series of blitzes on offenders’ homes to collect unpaid fines imposed by the courts.
This week the team have visited 400 houses in Huddersfield to speak to offenders and give them the opportunity to organise payment of their court fines there and then.
Fine cheats that weren’t co-operative were arrested and hauled in front of magistrates.
Some 19 people were brought before the special fines court at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, and a similar court will be held next week for more fine dodgers.
The court crackdown team still need to visit about 300 addresses in the area.
Mr Perrett said everyone who hasn’t paid their court fines can expect a knock on the door.
He said:“Until these fines are paid they have not been punished – and if they don’t pay, they could well be sent to prison.”
Bailiffs will also be issued with warrants to confiscate property.