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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 00:57 GMT
Road cameras to trap fine dodgers
Mobile speed camera
Those caught face having fines deducted from their wages
Police using road camera traps are to help catch fine dodgers for the first time, the government has said.

A deal has been reached to link up automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) equipment with a court database of fine defaulters.

Those caught in the new campaign could face arrest and have fines deducted from their wages.

Nearly 390 million of financial payments are currently outstanding in England and Wales.

Crackdown

We're giving people a chance to come clean now
Christopher Leslie
Courts Minister
Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman John Burbeck said: "As well as working with magistrates' court staff in helping to identify which outstanding warrants to pursue, police will help track down offenders via their ANPR mobile units.

"When we stop vehicles to check whether they're taxed and insured, we'll also check for any outstanding warrants - in particular fines."

Those found to owe fines could have their cars clamped and may face jail.

The campaign, known as Operation Payback 2, will focus on London, Manchester, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Merseyside.

The first Operation Payback recouped 750,000 from fine defaulters earlier this year.

The new campaign is being backed by a 300,000 publicity drive, including posters, leaflets, and radio and newspaper advertisements.

Advertisements have been placed in men's magazines, while 750,000 beer mats have also been produced.

Courts minister Christopher Leslie said: "We're giving people a chance to come clean now by warning them through the advertising campaign that they need to pay their outstanding fine immediately in order to avoid possible arrest.

"If they don't, the next knock on the door could mean payback time has come."




SEE ALSO:
Court fine defaulters facing jail
30 Oct 04  |  England


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