Cyprus Mail

Public pays up millions in unpaid fines


Close to €7 million have been secured in state coffers from the execution of 45,283 fines over the past seven months, recent police data showed, while 1,039 jail terms have been issued.

The success in getting offending members of the public to pay up has been attributed to the new measures which were adopted in October last year, following the justice ministry’s proposals – which can lead to imprisonment for unpaid fines.

From October 25 until July 5 the police issued 1,039 jail terms for those not paying, although that measure can be avoided if the violator does end up paying.

The overhaul last year has led to more targeted checks being carried out on unpaid fines while specialised officers in each district follow up on such cases, now having the added power of being able to jail those who do not pay.

The data showed that Limassol had 18,003 fines issued (securing €2.056m) followed by Nicosia’s 11,592 fines which totaled €2.252m.

Head of the unit tasked with handling the backlog of unpaid fines is senior police officer Andreas Angelides, who told daily Phileleftheros that not all those who receive fines and are unable to pay should fear a knock on their door or that they will be imprisoned.

He explained that many of the 1,039 jail terms imposed have been avoided once the offenders began paying, while others were evaluated and deemed not to be in a financial position to do so. For those facing economic hardship, fines can also be paid in instalments.

Angelides added that there is always the humane factor in such situation, particularly taking into consideration the increased cost of living and that each person’s circumstances will be examined prior to an arrest warrant or an arrest taking place.

His unit has also been removing many fines which are simply impossible or unfeasible to be paid, as the state attempts to trim down the massive backlog which has accrued over the years.


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