No escape for fine dodgers

In future ANPR cameras that recognise car vehicle number plates will be used to help trace people that have failed to pay fines imposed by the criminal courts. Currently the cameras are used only to track down those that have failed to pay traffic fines.
Tony Margiocchi / Barcroft Media

However, the Federal Finance Department is extending the use of the ANPR cameras to track down those that fail to pay other fines. The intention is to track down fine debtors more quickly, from as soon as their number plate has been detected by one of the cameras.

The Finance Department’s spokesman Francis Adyns told VRT News that "We could already stop a vehicle that drove past an ANPR camera and was linked to a road traffic offence for which a fine had been issued. The vehicle had to remain stationary and its driver had to pay the fine before he was allow to continue his journey”.

Last year only around a quarter of fines issued by criminal courts were actually paid. The Finance Department is looking for ways to increase the percentage of fines paid.

"This is why were are going to extend the use of ANPR cameras to track down those that have not paid non-traffic-related fines. These can be for offences ranging from assault and battery and fraudulent bankruptcy. The level of the fines are generally a lot higher than traffic fines”, Mr Adyns added.