‘Pay Up Or We’ll Track You Down’ Says Robson
7 May 2002
‘Pay up or we will track you down’ is the message to people who refuse to pay fines and reparations to victims, Courts Minister Matt Robson said today announcing $36 million additional funding over four years to expand the Fines Collection Call Centre.
“The expansion will enable Courts to collect an extra $90 million over four years, $22 million of which will be reparation payments for victims of crime, says Matt Robson.
“Experience shows that if the Department for Courts can find and contact those who owe fines, it can generally get the money. We are making sure they have the resources to do that.
“It’s important that all fines imposed are collected so that the fine remains a credible and useful means of promoting law-abiding behaviour in the community.
“The call centre will grow from the present 53 agents and support staff at one location to 180 staff at two locations. The call centre’s success with fines collection is based on its ability to use data-matching to establish addresses and telephone numbers and then proactively contact fines defaulters.
“The expansion will enable victims to ring a dedicated line that will update them on the status of their reparation payments. It will free up local staff to concentrate on physical enforcement action against fines defaulters, including clamping vehicles and seizing property under warrant for sale unless immediate payment is made. They will also be able to spend more time on encouraging fines compliance by educating people on the importance of dealing with fines before they become overdue, says Matt Robson.
Since 30 June1995 the value of fines collected has increased from $62 million to a record $136 million collected as at 30 June 2001, a 120% increase. Over the same period impositions have increased from $107 million to $203 million, an increase of 95%.