Over 700 outstanding warrants in Coleraine

THERE are over 700 warrants outstanding in the Coleraine policing area.

That was the message from the PSNI Area Commander in reply to a question from a member of the Coleraine District Policing Partnership at last Monday night’s meeting in Kilrea Town Hall.

DPP member Ian Cresswell asked Area Commander Nicky Thompson how many outstanding warrants were currently on the books in Coleraine, in light of the issue recently being raised in Stormont.

He was referring to warrants for the arrest of people for non-payment of fines arising from court appearances.

Chief Inspector Thompson said: “When police detect offenders, they put together evidence to give to the PPS (Public Prosecution Service). A local judge may impose a fine and the defendant may ask for time to pay that fine.

“If they fail to pay in that time, a warrant is ordered in court and goes back to police to enforce. We, in effect, become debt collectors,” he explained

The Area Commander told the meeting that as of Monday, November 21, there were 786 outstanding warrants against 463 individuals in the Coleraine policing area.