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Using behavioural insights to increase dog fine payments

Jesse Allpress
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:  



Auckland Council’s Animal Management Unit issues more than 5000 dog infringements per year. Current payment rates are low, resulting in a large number of infringements being referred to a Ministry of Justice court process that imposes additional sanctions on recipients. RIMU partnered with Animal Management to apply behavioural insights to improve infringement letters, with the goal of increasing payment rates.

The trial

Drawing on work undertaken by the Australian Behavioural Insights Team to increase on-time payment of fines, we developed four new cover letters to accompany a legally-mandated infringement notice. The letters drew on a number of behavioural principles to increase comprehension, increase ease of payment, and to motivate action. The effectiveness of each of the four new letters was tested, along with the current letter, using a randomised control trial. A total of 2285 letters were sent between September 2018 and February 2019.

March 2019