by Holly Lennon

FINE dodgers preparing to go on holiday have been warned to settle their bills or face embarrassment and disruption to their travel plans.

The warning comes after a Drumchapel man, who had been fined for a number of offences including threatening behaviour and resisting arrest, paid out £510 after finding his account had been frozen on orders of the court.

In another case cited by officials, a Gorbals man who had been fined for speeding, not having insurance, urinating in public and not having a TV licence, ignored repeated warning letters to pay back a total of £720.

A bank arrestment order was issued at Glasgow Sheriff and JP Court to recover the full amount from the offender's bank.

Another offender, who was convicted of theft and assault and fined at Dumfries Sheriff Court, was held at a ferry port after failing to pay £395 and ignoring repeated warning letters.

A warrant was issued and he was arrested at Cairnryan ferry port having arrived on a ferry from Ireland.

Police took the man to Stranraer police station and after he paid the outstanding amount in full he was released.

A new report released last week revealed the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) had maintained a strong fines collection performance. It showed 86 per cent of the value of sheriff court fines imposed during the three-year period between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2017 has either been paid or is on track to be paid.

Of JP Court fines imposed from April 1 to December 31, 2017, 81 per cent by value has been paid or is on track to be paid by instalments.

David Fraser, SCTS chief operations officer, said: “Jeopardising your travel plans is just not worth it. The fines enforcement teams continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines so ignoring your fine and not speaking to an enforcement officer if you are having difficulty paying is very unwise.

"Failure to pay, or to engage with our officers, will result in strong sanctions being taken including the inconvenience and embarrassment of being arrested when travelling abroad.”