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Magistrates Courts

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs if she will set out for each magistrates court in Greater Manchester (a) the amount of fines levelled by each court in each of the last five years, (b) the amount of fines written off by each court and (c) the percentage of fines collected. [119442]

Magistrates Courts Committees (MCCs) have a responsibility for the collection of a range of debts imposed by the magistrates courts and the Crown court. Debt collected includes not only fines but also fees, compensation, confiscation orders, legal aid contributions and some maintenance orders. It is not possible to separate out only fines from the total.Prior to 1999, the Magistrates Courts Committees were not asked as part of their data collection to provide full information on the amounts imposed or paid. The national data for the period 1996–98 for amounts 'written off' was collected only for the last quarter of each calendar year.The figures for the magistrates courts areas within Greater Manchester are contained in the table, including that for the first three quarters in 2002–03, which is currently the latest data published.

Greater Manchester Magistrates Courts Committee1
Imposed (£)Percentage paidAmount written off (£)Percentage written off
April 1999 to March 2000
Trafford4,728,18624425,5379
Tameside1,861,18257241,93413
Stockport2,227,3464922
Oldham1,106,743101630,84457
North and West Manchester (includes Rochdale, Wigan, Leigh and Bury)10,727,563602,467,33923
Manchester6,035,529492,172,79036
April 2000 to March 2001
Trafford3,951,052331,382,86835
Tameside1,776,09654390,74122
Stockport1,558,01189545,30435
Oldham1,063,770114531,88550
North and West Manchester (includes Rochdale, Wigan, Leigh and Bury)9,921,380632,976,41430
Manchester6,700,253522,345,08935
April 20013to March 2002
Trafford4,302,65828258,1596
Tameside1,334,21771400,26530
Stockport1,381,18392414,35530
Oldham1,028,870106473,28046
Salford931,028123484,13552
Bolton1,448,56697260,74218
Wigan (includes Bury, Leigh and Rochdale)6,329,356541,329,16521
Manchester6,278,014522,511,20640
April 2002 to December 20024
Trafford2,401,929401,925,967580
Tameside894,49574271,09730
Stockport1,178,90483311,21426
Oldham866,64290235,19227
Salford906,23793292,54232
Bolton1,331,53881277,01421
Wigan (includes Bury, Leigh and Rochdale3,417,73172918,54127
Manchester5,973.128492,776,92146
1 Information regarding debt is calculated over a rolling year and the percentages paid and written off in each area will also include amounts that were imposed in previous years.
2 Data not available.
3 Following the amalgamation in April 2001 of 73 MCCs into 42 there was a change of areas making up Greater Manchester Magistrates Court Committee.
4 Only three quarters data are currently available for the 2002–03 financial year.
5 During 2002, as part of on-going performance management, Trafford magistrates court have been running an initiative to bring to a conclusion old accounts by writing off impositions held on the system where defendants cannot be traced. When these defendants reappear the debt is then written back for collection purposes.
Greater Manchester Magistrates Courts Committee1
Imposed in Quarter4 (£)Amount written off in Quarter 4 (£)Percentage written off
October to December 1998
Traiford670.59543,3426
Tameside547.54264,07312
Stockport447,09456,20814
Oldham486.09170,32814
North and West Greater Manchester (includes Bolton, Bury, Wigan, City of Salford, Rochdale, Middleston andHeywood)2,957,003649,75322
Manchester1.782,543701,13739
1Information regarding debt is calculated over a rolling year and the percentages paid and written off in each area will also include amounts that were imposed in previous years.