New Section 226B – Enforcement orders
328.Subsections (1) and (2) give the court discretion to make an enforcement order in relation to a fine. The expectation is that the court will make an enforcement order when considering whether to grant time to pay under section 214 or 215 of the 1995 Act. However, the court is not required to make an order if it does not consider that an order would be appropriate.
329.Subsection (7) provides that an enforcement order may be made by the court in the absence of the offender in relation to the payment of certain penalties, on the application of the clerk of court. Those penalties are detailed in subsections (4), (5) and (6). Subsection (7) applies where the offender:
has accepted or is deemed to have accepted a fixed penalty offer or compensation offer as an alternative to prosecution under section 302(1) or 302A(1) of the 1995 Act (subsection (4));
is liable to pay a fixed penalty under section 54 or section 62 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 which has been registered under section 71 of that Act, or is liable to pay (by virtue of section 131(5) of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004) a fixed penalty notice issued under section 129 of that Act (subsection (5));
is the subject of a transfer of fine order in respect of a fine imposed in England and Wales in relation to which a collection order has been made (subsection (6)).
330.The enforcement order, a copy of which will be sent to all offenders, imposes a statutory requirement to pay the fine or penalty as specified in the order. The order will also contain certain information, as set out in subsection (8), including:
details of the fine or penalty;
the arrangements for making payment (including the time for payment and, if applicable, the number of instalments permitted by the court);
contact details of the fines enforcement officer; and
information about the effect of the order in the event that the offender defaults on payment of the fine.
331.The sanctions for non – compliance, as detailed in new sections 226D, 226E and 226F include seizure of an offender’s motor vehicle; a deduction from benefits order; earnings arrestment; and arrestment of an offender’s bank or building society account. The enforcement order empowers the FEO to apply these sanctions, subject to the provisions of sections 226D to 226F.
332.Subsections (9) & (10) prohibit the court (when making or intending to make an enforcement order) from imposing an alternative period of imprisonment or dealing with applications for further time to pay for as long as an enforcement order has effect. The order will cease to have effect if the penalty is fully paid or the court decides to revoke the order.