FINE-DODGING criminals can expect an unwelcome knock on the door over the coming days if they fail to pay what they owe to the courts.

North Yorkshire Police is cracking down on more than 220 people who have failed to pay the charges handed down to them at York Magistrates’ Court.

Officers will shortly be taking enforcement action to make arrests and claim the thousands of pounds owed to them.

Sgt Martin Metcalfe, of York West Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “I would personally rather people got in touch with York Magistrates’ Court before we come knocking on their doors to arrest or get the full payments from them.

“At the end of the day, you have been fined as a result of committing a crime and I believe the victims of these crimes need to know you have paid your dues.

“In the past month, there have been three people arrested for non-payment of fines and they have been sent to prison immediately without attending court, so my message to you is make contact with the courts to arrange payment of your fines or face the consequences of arrest and possibly prison without any notice.”

Anyone who knows they have an outstanding fine for criminal matters should contact the court to arrange their payment.

A spokesman for HM Courts and Tribunals said: “Our message to fine dodgers is clear: pay up now or face the consequences.

“The courts will do everything within their powers to trace those who do not pay.

“Money can be taken from an offender’s earnings or from benefits if they are unemployed.

“Warrants can be issued instructing court employed agents and the police to sell goods belonging to the offender, or arrest the offender and bring them back before the court. Ultimately an offender can be imprisoned for non-payment of their fine.”

York Magistrates’ Court can be contacted on 01904 818300.