A FINE dodger was forced to settle a £500 debt after his wages were arrested.

The local car mechanic, fined at Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court for road traffic offences, settled his £500 fines immediately after his employer was forced to deduct a sum from his earnings to settle his unpaid fines.

The value of fines and penalties collected in the last three years has risen in all categories, according to a quarterly fines report published by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service(SCTS).

The value of JP Court fines shows a rise from 88 to 90 per cent between 2016/17 and 2019/20, while fiscal penalties are up three points from 73 to 76 per cent and police fixed penalties are also up from 78 to 81 per cent.

David Fraser, SCTS chief operations officer, said: “It is very unwise not to pay a fine or not to engage with an enforcement officer if someone is having difficulty paying.

“With our national dedicated team non-payment of a fine or non-engagement is simply not an option.”

Freezing bank accounts, arresting earnings, clamping vehicles or even arresting non-payers travelling through ports and airports are among enforcement measures the court system are able to take to recover unpaid fines.

Non-payers can also have money taken directly from benefits and more than 6,900 benefit deduction orders were granted in the last quarter alone.

Warnings are issued before action is taken to individuals who stop making regular instalment payments of their fines.