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News - 18 May 2012
National police database to target unpaid fines
A new 24 hour national police database is to be rolled out to target criminals who do not pay their fines. The Magistrates Association said 50% of out of court fines go unpaid.
On the spot punishments are handed out by the police for offences like low level assault, criminal damage, speeding and shoplifting. However, unlike in the courts where a person is means tested, out of court fines are fixed and do not take into account the person's capacity to pay.
Chief Constable Alex Marshall, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, responsible for out of court disposals, explained that information relating to fixed penalty notices is currently held on local databases. He said while sharing information across forces is possible, the new database will improve the process.
"This will allow the courts to consider more punitive measures against individuals who try to flout sanctions for repeatedly causing low-level crime and disorder in our communities," he said.
For the full story from bbc.co.uk, click here.
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