THE Sheriff’s Office identified about $40,000 in unpaid fines during a street sweep of Bendigo this week.
A team from the Sheriff’s Office drove around the CBD, calling into car parks, and used number plate recognition technology to identify cars linked to drivers with outstanding fines.
Regional manager of Sheriffs Roger Williams said number plate recognition technology was an effective tool, with about 1500 number plates scanned in just a few hours.
“Where outstanding fines are identified we then apply a warning sticker or wheel clamps,” he said. “The wheel clamps are a last resort to try and get the person to come and talk to us and work out some sort of payment plan.”
A car in Queen Street, opposite the Bendigo Advertiser office, had its wheels clamped and another vehicle was spotted with wheel clamps opposite the Bendigo Cinemas.
Mr Williams said one woman was found to have $6000 in unpaid fines.
“All up we identified about $40,000 worth of unpaid fines and that was between a total of 16 people.
“So it’s a significant problem. The message we want to get out to the community is that there are lots of options available to people – there’s payment plans and also the community work so get in touch with us before it becomes a problem.
“People can expect to see us using this technology more and more.”