Less than 5% of the approximately 20,000 fines imposed on Victorian people who violated the coronavirus limits were paid in full, new figures reveal.
As of August 24, only 845 of the 19,324 infringements distributed by the Victorian Police were paid, according to Justice Ministry data published on NCA NewsWire under the Freedom of Information Act.
Since the introduction of the Chief Health Officer’s coronavirus restriction in March in response to a pandemic, Victorian people who have violated the rules have been fined approximately $ 27.9 million.
However, as of August 24, the payment received was only $ 1.45 million, just over 5% of the total.
Of the 19,324 issued, 1489 was withdrawn or canceled and 1638 was under payment planning arrangements.
Approximately 18 percent (3455 violations) are registered with Fines Victoria for enforcement, which means they have reached the “final demand notification” stage.
The remaining 11,897 fines have not yet been paid and are understood to be under review or challenged.
Since August 24, at least 6322 fines have been imposed for breach of restrictions, but it is not yet known how many of them have been paid.
A state government spokesman said that only a “small portion” of the COVID fine was paid before it expired.
“For many recently issued fines, people still have time to pay,” she said.
She said the fines played an important role in sending a clear message that anyone who explicitly and deliberately violated the directive would be punished.
“People who don’t follow the directive pose a risk to the wider community – and the police respond accordingly,” said a spokesman.
If you are fined by the Victorian Police, you will be given a 28-day payment deadline. If you do not, you will be issued a penalty reminder notice with an additional 21-day payment period.
Upon expiration of that 49-day period, the infringement will be passed to Fines Victoria, which will make a final request for payment within 21 days before the agency can exercise its authority to resolve the open infringement. Issue a notification.
Those who refuse to pay beyond the final demand period notice may face a variety of additional enforcement measures, including vehicle wheel clamps, suspension of vehicle registration, seizure and sale of personal property, and even imprisonment. there is.
Tiffany, a youth law advocate and human rights officer, told NCA NewsWire that fines tend to be very slow and cumbersome.
“Many of these fines have so many benefits to those seeking reviews from the Victorian police, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll be fined a lot at the midpoint just trying to clarify the fine. I understand, “she said.
“Some of the fined people were a bit gray and suspicious as to whether it was actually a violation or whether the police could use the discretion to issue a warning in their particular exceptional circumstances. There is. “
But from her experience helping dozens of people who believe there is a benefit to withdrawing fines, they say they are very difficult to challenge and review and have not yet succeeded. Said.
Ms. Overall said another problematic aspect of COVID fines is that there are no adjustments or adjustments for children, and that amount is up to 10 times the amount normally processed in a children’s court.
“I don’t know how you expect them to pay, even if they want,” she said.
“To many young people, these COVID fines seem to be with them for a long time, but that’s really a problem.”
Stan Winford, Associate Director of RMIT University’s Center for Innovative Justice, said fines could take longer to process if he applied for attention, such as an appeal, a fine to be reviewed, or a speeding ticket. Said there is.
“These are unprecedented, so we have no history of building expertise on whether people need to exercise their discretion in making excuses or continuing,” he said. It was.
“Discretion means interpreting things based on a variety of factors, which is difficult to do without a lot of guidance and precedent.”
Police fines for breach of restrictions remain unpaid
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