MILLIONS of pounds in court fines handed down to offenders in Scotland remain unpaid, official figures show.

Scottish Court Service (SCS) data reveals that between July 2011 and June 2012, the total of fiscal fines, justice of the peace court fines and police fixed penalties for anti-social behaviour was £14 million, 31% of which was in arrears.

In 2009-10, £12.4m of sheriff court fines were issued, 10.7% of which was in arrears.

Loading article content

The figures have raised question marks over Scottish Government plans to force criminals to pay into a fund to help compensate victims of crime. The Government estimated more than £1.2m a year could be raised.

Lewis Macdonald, Scottish Labour's justice spokesman said: "The revelation that thousands of discharged fiscal direct penalties are simply abandoned will come as a shock to the Scottish public."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Fine collection is a matter for the SCS and it is working hard to enforce fines.

"Since it took over responsibility, collection rates have improved and are now at their highest ever recorded level."