WARRANTS for $1.2 million worth of unpaid fines were issued against Corangamite Shire residents in the past financial year.
New data from the Sheriff’s Office reveals there were 2603 outstanding warrants for 752 people in the shire for the 2012-13 financial year.
Southern Grampians Shire didn’t fare much better with 1981 outstanding warrants issued for 750 people owing a total of $850,000 in fines.
The warrants are for civil and criminal matters.
No other south-west councils were listed in the state government data.
Statistics from the 2012-13 financial year show that despite a large jump in activity from the Sheriff’s Office, the overall amount of unpaid fines continues to grow.
In total, more than $1.3 billion remains unpaid for road tolls, speeding, parking and other offences.
The Sheriff of Victoria, Brendan Facey, expressed concern that more people are finding themselves in debt due to unpaid fines.
“Too many people are letting their fines get out of control,” he said.
“Getting help with your fines is easy, ignoring them will lead to action from the Sheriff’s Office.”
It actioned more than 1.1 million warrants last year and arrested more than 2000 people — an increase of more than 27 per cent on the previous year.
Nearly 280,000 licence plates were scanned as part of checks across the state.
Mr Facey said it was clear some people were not getting the message until a Sheriff’s Officer clamped their car, suspended their driver’s licence or arrested them.
He said most people paid their fines on time, but a small minority were deliberately trying to cheat the system.
In this calendar year, Sheriff’s officers have taken action against 12 of the worst fine evaders in the state — some owing as much as $290,000.
In Victoria, residents in the City of Casey owed the most money, with more than $84 million in unpaid fines.
People can pay their fines by visiting a Justice Service Centre, calling 1300 369 819 or visiting www.fines.vic.gov.au