ALMOST 40 people who failed to pay fines handed out by courts in Wrexham have been collared in a crackdown.

The combined operation was mounted by officers from Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS) and North Wales Police to target those who had ignored fines handed out for a range of offences, including assault, theft, and motoring matters.

A total of 37 warrants have been executed across the borough over unpaid fines to the value of £57,137.

Fine dodgers were arrested immediately and then taken to custody. They then appeared before a magistrate judge.

One of the warrants resulted in a prison sentence, the rest were given re-payment conditions.

If they fail to meet these they can be brought back before the court and given a custodial sentence.

Chief Inspector Dave Owens, of the North Wales Police Eastern Division who led the operation, said: “It was a huge success and I would like to thank our colleagues at HMCS for their participation and support during the operation.

"It is our intention to ensure that when offenders are dealt with at court and a fine imposed, that these fines are paid, and if they are not, then these defaulters are targeted and asked to explain themselves to magistrates.

"Based on the success of this operation I anticipate that we will conduct further such events in conjunction with our colleagues at HMCS in the coming months.”

Lyn Harding, head of enforcement for HMCS in Wales, said: “North Wales Police and the Courts Service have joined together in a series of operations to target offenders who don’t pay their fines.

“By doing this we raise the profile among people who try to dodge payment to emphasise that they can’t get away with it.

“We also want to raise the confidence of the public in North Wales in the Criminal Justice System.

“When people default on paying their fines they will be pursued.”

Information about the payment of fines can be found on the website