New tracking laws could lead to motorists with unpaid fines being detained
17 March 2009

Motorists with unpaid fines could be stopped from leaving the country, as part of a new scheme to track the movements of anyone travelling abroad.

British newspaper the Daily Telegraph is reporting that the government will introduce a system called e-Borders to follow the travel plans of anyone looking to leave Britain within the next few years.

It hopes it can use the system to recoup more than £1 billion in unpaid fines, including for motoring offences.

The idea of using the system to detain fine defaulters is contained in an 'Explanatory Memorandum' to the Immigration and Asylum Act prepared by the Home Office.

It says that e-Borders could help recoup millions of pounds of unpaid fines, and make it easier to enforce the confiscation of criminals' assets following a court order.

The memorandum read: 'Whilst not a key e-Borders priority, e-Borders could also contribute to compliance on fine enforcement, if provisions were issued prohibiting travel overseas whilst fines remained unpaid and confiscation orders undischarged.'

A Home Office spokesman said that the proposals would apply to any unpaid fines issued by the courts

It is anticipated that such powers would only be used when substantial arrears have been accumulated.

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