MORE than a quarter of coronavirus fines handed out by Dorset Police weren’t paid within the 28-day payment period, data shows.

Between March 27 and September 21 this year, Dorset Police gave out 843 fixed penalty notices, but 212 of them were not paid in the given period, equating to 25.15 per cent.

If fixed penalty notices are accepted but not paid, they increase by 50 per cent and the court has the option to issue a warrant for arrest if the person in question fails to respond.

The county’s force also rescinded nearly ten per cent of the fines given during the same period.

Of the 843 fines given, Dorset Police rescinded 84, or 9.96 per cent.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police is responsible for enforcing the law as set by the government and ensuring our communities and visitors to the area continue to play their part in the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is only right that fines are processed in accordance with the law and we encourage people not intending to pay a fine if they are not intending to contest it.

“If anyone has concerns about why they received a fine, they can raise it with the force within the 28-day payment period.

“Our officers will have recorded their justifications for issuing an FPN, along with providing any evidence to support any breaches of the regulations.

“If a fine is contested or unpaid within the designated period it will then proceed to court.

“The force is required to review all of these cases to ensure that only those cases that meet the evidential standard and public interest are heard at court.”

Elsewhere in England, some forces had more than 60 per cent of fines unpaid within 28 days, according to ACRO which administers the fines.

In Northumbria the proportion was 68 per cent, with 188 out of 278 fines not paid, while in West Yorkshire 66 per cent of fines, 497 out of 756, went unpaid, according to data from the criminal records office ACRO which administers the fines.

A spokesperson for the NPCC said: “Officers will have recorded their justifications for issuing an FPN, along with providing evidence to support any breaches of the regulations.”