South East Wales

Cardiff fine dodgers warned of new crackdown

Cardiff magistrates have hailed a clampdown on court fine dodgers a "huge success" and say they will run it again.

They say about £150,000 of unpaid fines, fees and compensation has been reclaimed since 1 March as part of a targeted operation.

Magistrates, court staff, bailiffs and the police joined forces to issue 828 arrest warrants.

Offenders who had failed to pay were jailed or forced to pay up.

Viv Edwards, deputy chair of the bench at Cardiff Magistrates' Court, said: "People with outstanding fines who ignore the orders of the court will continue to be targeted and will be arrested and brought back to court to ensure that outstanding fines are paid.

"The message from 'Operation Crackdown' is clear; fines will be enforced robustly and those who do not pay can expect to suffer the consequences, which can involve the loss of property and the loss of liberty.

"Fines imposed by the court are due on the day they are imposed and any time to pay granted by the court is a concession and not a right."

More than £29m worth of fines are outstanding in Wales, with a third owed by people in south Wales.

HM Courts Service (HMCS) organised a similar operation in February 2010 in which 9,425 warrants were executed and £1.02m collected across England and Wales.

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