Fixed Penalty Notices

Fixed Penalty Notices

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What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is a form of ‘out of court disposal’ (like a caution) that is a way of dealing with an offender (or suspected offender) and marking their behaviour, but without formal Court proceedings.

They were originally introduced as a way of dealing with parking violations, but have now developed into a sort of ‘ticket’ that can be used against low level anti-social behaviour. Although everyone refers to them as an ‘FPN’, when used in this context they are officially called a ‘PND’ – Penalty Notice for Disorder.

Over time they have become more and more formalised and are now on a statutory footing with the rules being mainly set out in ss1-11 Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

These are only for people aged 18 and over (Note: Section 2, which sets out the availability of FPNs was amended by LASPOA 2012 Sch 23 para 3(2). Unfortunately, the legislation.gov.uk copy of ss1-11 Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 does not reflect that change at the time of writing this post, and so still states the age is 10 year and above.)

It is sometimes called an ‘on the spot fine’ because it involves you paying £60-90 (depending on the offence) as the penalty.

How does it work?

A Police Officer has to decide that s/he has reason to believe that you have committed ‘penalty offence’ and that there is sufficient evidence available that, if the matter went to Court, there is a realistic prospect of conviction.

The offence must be low level – someone drunk and shouting on the street may be suitable for one. If they attack a passerby, then it probably wouldn’t be. Sometimes there is flexibility and discretion for the officer, sometimes there are stricter rules (for example, you can only get a FPN for shoplifting if you have not had one before and the value of the goods are under £100).

Also, the person must be ‘suitable’ – if they have a string of offences, or are a drug addict, then they probably won’t be (also if they have recently had an FPN).

If the Officer decides that one is suitable, then they have to be able to verify your name and address and ensure that you are able to understand the meaning of an FPN and are co-operative in relation to it.

At that point, if the above is in favour of an FPN, then it can be ‘administered’. This involves giving you a notice of what the offence is, who the officer is (and which police station they are from) and how much the penalty is. You have to sign to accept receipt of it.

What happens if I don’t pay the penalty?

If you don’t pay it (and don’t appeal it) within 21 days then the penalty is increased by a half and it is registered with the Magistrates’ Court as a fine (and can be enforced as that). Whilst the police could in theory prosecute at this stage, this would only be in an exceptional case.

Can I refuse to accept one if I haven’t done anything wrong?

Yes. You have 21 days to decide what to do. You can decline to pay it and challenge the issuing of it by ‘asking to be tried’. It will then be up to the CPS as to whether they prosecute or not.

What’s a PND-E?

This is a new initiative (for any behviour after 8th April 2013. The ‘E’ stands for ‘Education’. The police have the option of setting up Educational Courses which someone can attend instead of paying the penalty. This is supposed to give individuals insight and awareness into their behaviour.  As with a FPN, there is no obligation to accept a PND-E.

If one is offered, you can pay the penalty amount instead of going on the course. If having agreed to this, you fail to attend the course (or don’t take it seriously enough) then the case will proceed as if you had not paid the fine (see above).

Is it a criminal conviction?

No. As there is no admission of guilty, then it does not count as ‘bad character’ (and is different to a caution in that respect) – Hamer [2010] EWCA Crim 2053. The details are still recorded on the police computer however.

Also, the fact that someone has received and accepted a FPN does not mean that they cannot be prosecuted for the same (or similar offence) – Gore & Maher [2009] EWCA Crim 1424.

What offences can I get one for?

There is a long list of 29 offences. The full list is below (courtesy of North Yorkshire Police).

Upper Tier

Wasting police time, giving false report £90
Send false message/persistently use a public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety £90
Knowingly gives a false alarm to a person acting on behalf of a fire and rescue authority. £90
Words/behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress £90
Fire or throw firework(s) £90
Drunk & disorderly in a public place £90
Destroying or damaging property (under £300 and may only be given on one occasion) £90
Retail Theft (under £100 and may only be given on one occasion) £90
Breach of fireworks curfew (11pm-7am) £90
Possession of a category 4 firework £90
Sells or attempts to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk. £90
Supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to a person aged under 18 £90
Sale of alcohol anywhere to a person under 18 £90
Buys or attempts to buy alcohol on behalf of person under 18 £90
Buys or attempts to buy alcohol for consumption on relevant premises by person under 18. £90
Delivery of alcohol to person under 18 or allowing such delivery £90
Possess a controlled drug of Class B – cannabis/cannabis resin £90

Lower Tier 

Trespassing on a railway

     £60

Throwing stones/matter/thing at a train or railway

     £60

Drunk in a highway, other public place or licensed premises

     £60

Consume alcohol in designated public place, contrary to requirement by constable not to do so

     £60

Depositing and leaving litter

      £60

Allowing consumption of alcohol by a person under 18 on relevant premises.

      £60

Buying or attempting to buy alcohol by a person under 18.

      £60

Drop / leave litter / refuse except in a receptacle provided for the purpose in a RoyalPark or other open space

      £60

Use pedal cycle / skates / blade / board / foot-propelled device in a RoyalPark or other open spaces

      £60

Unless the person is registered blind, failing to immediately remove animal faeces from a RoyalPark or other open space

      £60

Also, Possession of Khat from 24th June 2014 – £60.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

36 COMMENTS

  1. Very interested in your posting. I am a researcher at Keele university doing a PhD the use of fixed penalty notices across a range of ‘offences’ from parking to motoring to PND’s. I think the important factor which isn’t explained and could really do with clarity is what a PND means when subject to the enhanced disclosure regime. There it is certainly unclear about the boundary between criminal and non criminal, and is generally left to the discretion of the disclosure officer in the particular police force. I have come across multiple cases where budding teachers, lawyers, care workers have been left in the difficult situation as to whether they should disclose the PND to their employer or potential employer. This is especially difficult given the very little amount of research done into the effects of negative CRB’s (or DBS’s nowadays) on employer decisions. There is some research in Australia in relation to cannabis notices (very similar to PNDs) that suggests it doesn’t make a difference but it was a very small sample and it was a hypothetical exercise rather than a controlled trial.

    In any even it’s nice to know that there are others out there interested in these types of penalties!

    Adam

  2. I wonder which of these categories Brighton police thought Monty Panesar’s behaviour last Monday night fell (when they issued him with a PND for urinating on night club bouncers from the promenade above the club after apparently being excluded for having hassled a group of women).

    The abuse of “out of court disposals” is one of the most pernicious dirty secrets of policing today. Cautions are doled out by the police for rape and other cases of serious sexual assault, for child pornography, and crimes of violence against domestic partners (in violation with all guidance on the matter). The effect of such “cop outs” is to undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system, and they indubitably distort and discredit crime statistics and the resourcing of crime prevention.

    The time has come to hold the police to account for their recourse to such disposals (the majority of PNDs are never paid to boot, and many are issued to people with Mickey Mouse names, often time after time).

    This lazy approach to policing is eating away at the very foundations of the societal compact that constitutes the basis for proper policing, which relies to a large extent on the separation of powers. Only in repressive regimes are the police empowered (other than for minor matters such as traffic violations) to “determine” guilt or innocence, and to impose on a whim whatever punishment they see fit. No police officer should ever be able to impose a penalty, say, for “assaulting a PC”. The conflict of interest is too great.

    Chief Constables have actively encouraged their officers to take the easy way out, and are now seeing that those same officers all too often consider themselves, in addition to being the defenders of public order, as judge and jury rolled into one. Indeed, many consider themselves above the law as a result, so used have they become to doling it out as they see fit (with all the risks inherent in such a system, devoid as it is of any proper checks and balances, let alone judicial oversight and impartiality).

    There is a proper place for such disposals (indeed a strong case for ‘decriminalising’ many cautions, and certainly most of those issued to youths). But unless there is a thoroughgoing re-centring of policy, OoCDs will end up eating away at the trusses on which the planks of our CJS repose; like woodworm, their proliferation has weakened and compromised the stability of the rule of law.

    • I would be interested to know why you thought it was for the police to determine guilt or innocence in relation to ‘traffic’ but not other offences? (I’m not being facetious, I generally find this dichotomy between traffic and ‘normal’ criminality fascinating, and peoples responses to the two.)
      I would imagine Monty Panesar’s was for Section 5 public order, urinating in the street generally falls within this category of PND (causing harassment, alarm and distress)
      Having spent quite a bit of time with police officers I don’t think any really see the PND as an easy way out, yes it saves them paperwork time, but I haven’t in my studies come across as a case yet where I felt officers were ‘taking the easy way out’. If anything I think most officers feel that PND’s are giving the offender the easy way out, so they don’t have to go to court and face a criminal conviction. Of all the officers I have interviewed they would be quite happy if the situation were to be reversed and they had to go back to the court process. (Although they do express reservations about the costs and time consequences of this.)
      I really think it is hyperbole to suggest that OCD’s eat away at the rule of law, particularly as they rely on defendant acceptance. Of course there are some terrible cases, the rape case mentioned above is one case in a local police force, which happened quite a few years ago now and was a case, as I understand it, involving a minor who had sex with his under-age girlfriend. So the case may highlight or encapsulate the idea of the problem but thankfully it is an incredibly rare case that is unlikely to be repeated. Far more likely now is for the ‘outer rim’ cases to be dealt with by restorative justice out of court, which I have to is generally accepted by criminal justice professionals and members of the judiciary, certainly the lay judiciary, as being an acceptable, or at least more tolerable, alternative to a caution.
      PND’s certainly did distort statistics, so called ‘offences brought to justice’, but that hasn’t been the case now since 2008, and what usage there has been since then dramatically decreased, some 42% since the high watermark of 2007/8 (if memory serves.)

      • Firstly, I really have no desire to hijack Dan’s post by conducting a dialogue with Adam on the rather distorted extrapolations he makes from my comments above, and shall be as brief as possible in replying.

        The dichotomy Adam perceives between peoples [sic] responses to ‘normal’ and traffic criminality seems to be one of his own invention; it certainly is not my own perception. Offences suitable for on the spot fines tend by their nature to be ‘absolute’ offences – such as many motoring offences (Were you speeding, and if so, by how much were you exceeding the limit?) – or that are clear cut (Did you, or did you not drop some litter in front of a warden in the shopping centre?). It has nothing whatsoever (except in Adam’s feverish imagination) to do with a dichotomy between motoring and other offences.

        There have been many more than one case of a caution being issued for rape, and in much less comprehensible circumstances than those Adam alludes to. As for the numerous other sexual assaults dealt with by way of cautions, I note that he ignores these (as many men do), just as they gloss over the fact that the guidance explicitly rules out cautioning in cases of DV (except if the victim’s name is Nigella, or in any of the thousands of other cases of women who have been assaulted by their partners and see them being given a ‘simple’ caution).

        If, instead of riding his own hobby horse, Adam had read my comments through, he would have seen that I made a (cursory but sincere) case for appropriate cautioning, and also for decriminalising many cautions (as for RJ, I am a strong supporter, in both out of court contexts, and either/or pre-sentence or as a specific disposal of the court). I fear that his blithe dismissal of the corrosive influence of the overuse of cautions may result from his propinquity to those who dole them out, and from a blinkered refusal to look at the facts, such as they are (evidence shows, for example, that a very high percentage of OoCDs are not recorded).

    • Can you give an example of where Police have issued a caution for Rape?
      I find that very hard to believe.

      • I cannot imagine that ever happening. There may be some very extreme cases where it is appropriate so it can’t be ruled out, but would be wholly exceptional. If you include youth cautions, it may be that someone aged 10 or thereabouts could be cautioned. Another example could be someone where the victim did not wish for a prosecution and the perpetrator was terminally ill. Other than extreme cases such as that, it would not happen.

    • Cheers for that brilliant. I’m surprised there are only five offence re Panesar post, I would have thought more, in the words of Strunz ‘that which they cover (criminal laws) they cover repeatedly.’

  3. Surely a FNP is a document that threatens you with a pecuniary penalty?
    I note DEFRA made a note that an FNP offer to settle outside of court is not a FINE…..I have found several legal definitions that make it clear and even use the word FINE to describe this…
    So does this make ALL FNPs for example speeding or litter
    “AS ILLEGAL AND VOID”

    see various quotes below Im sure those of you legally trained will know their source as I don’t want to load this with links and references just stimulate the debate and seek some independent legal opinions on such.

    Note:………

    In sections 15 to 32 and 48 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, the expression “fine” includes any pecuniary penalty

    The Bill of Rights 1689 states that fines may only be levied following a conviction.

    English Bill of Rights 1689
    An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown
    Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons assembled at Westminster, lawfully, fully and freely representing all the estates of the people of this realm, did upon the thirteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty-eight [old style date] present unto their Majesties, then called and known by the names and style of William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, being present in their proper persons, a certain declaration in writing made by the said Lords and Commons in the words following

    That all grants and “promises of fines” and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;

    In sections 15 to 32 and 48 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, the expression “fine” includes any pecuniary penalty

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  5. Catherine, it does sound as though he may indeed have been drunk and disorderly!

    PNDs are only supposed to be issued to those capable of understanding the consequences of accepting this sort of penalty and the consequences it carries, and I question whether somebody so drunk that they don’t even know what they are supposed to do with the PND and don’t know to boot what they’ve done with the piece of paper really was able to understand…

    However, if he knows whereabouts this happened, he can contact the local police, and they’ll sort it out. They will have kept & logged a copy of the notice.

    But he should remember that not paying and not doing anything can land him in big trouble. You are absolutely right to chase this up. Try going to a Law Centre or to the CAB if he can’t afford to consult a lawyer – but whatever he does, he must do something, and do it pronto!

    Many local lawyers round my way would probably sort this out quickly for nothing, or for a token fee, but such altruism is becoming hard to expect, as they are being bled dry by legal aid cutbacks and have practices to maintain, staff to pay, and overheads to meet. Many local firms have closed even in the last year or two, unable to keep their head above the water.

  6. if the bills of rights act is correct then all fpn issuised by the police and any other civil inforcement officer must be breaking the law what happens if i dont accept a fpn and refuse to give my details

  7. I have just received a letter from the fines office after contacting me they say it’s from 2004, so 10yrs ago, for obstruction. This is the first I have herd of this. Surly even if the offence happened to now send out a fine 10yrs on is beyond insane, if the offence had happened surly I would of been dragged through the coals so to speak many moons ago?

  8. Fines rarely (if ever!) go away of their own accord, Mike, and you would be well advised to take this seriously, as it could not only affect your credit rating and lead to recovery action by bailiffs etc., but the initial fine could well balloon with the costs of proceedings and those charged by the bailiffs.

    I presume you are not denying that there was an incident in which you were involved, some 10 or more years ago, and that may have led to a charge of obstruction.

    If you gave the correct address to officers at the time, then it would be very odd that you heard nothing for 10 years. Did the alleged offence involve a vehicle, and were the details you had supplied to the DVLA up to date? Have you moved house in the meantime, and were you on the electoral register during this time? Lots of questions, and only you can easily give the answers, ‘though others can establish them with a bit of digging.

    What is worth noting is that the tools available to the fines collection people who seem to have finally tracked you down have become ever more sophisticated, and include matching up bank accounts, employment records, & benefits claims, etc. The UK may not have an ID card scheme, but there is a lot of information out there about each and every one of us!

    If you really had no knowledge of any summons, and can explain why that might fairly / legitimately have been the case, you could try going to court and asking to make a “statutory declaration” to that effect, and asking for the proceedings to be set aside.

    But your best course of action would be to take legal advice pronto (I’m not a lawyer, and do not purport to offer legal advice). This offence is now apparently on your record, and it could affect you in all sorts of ways if you don’t deal with it.

    P.S. Whatever else you do, don’t make things worse by telling porkies on oath in a “Stat Dec”, or burying your head in the sand.

    • Bit more detail, the alleged offence took place in September 2004 and was obstruction (motor vehicle causing parked and causing obstruction ), the first thing I have herd of the alleged offence was last week , I called up and asked what the fine was for as they don’t put down any information on the demand, and was told the information above. Like I said this was the first I have herd of the alleged incident, I had until the last few months lived at the same address for 34 years, I have been registered to vote and all my details from cars I have owned have always been registered to me at the same address and insured, taxed and MOT’ed, basically, I do my best to keep to the letter of the law, (my mother would batter me if I didn’t!) so I’m basically stuck part of me says pay the fine and forget it, but the other part of me says, why pay for something you haven’t done, more and more people are adopt info the lines of just pay it regardless, but if that idea is adopted then it just becomes a way of taking money off people! Sorry for the rant!

      • Just to add thank you for any information and I understand that it is not legal advice, I am usually very clued up on legalities. This one has me scratching my head

  9. IN THE NOTTINGHAM MAGISTRATES COURT

    BETWEEN:

    NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
    -AND-

    ******************
    Defendant

    SKELETON ARGUMENT ON BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT

    The grounds for Dismissal
    1. There is insufficient evidence to prosecute to the criminal burden of proof and may constitute an abusive process

    (i) Advanced Notice of various grounds already given to Naomi Matthews
    Copy attached

    (ii) (R v JAK (1992) Crim.L.R. 30 )

    (Hui Chi-Ming v R [1992] 1 A.C. 34, PC).
    Abuse of process has been defined as something so unfair and wrong with the
    prosecution that the court should not allow a prosecutor to proceed with what is,
    in all other respects, a perfectly supportable case

    (iii) The offence did not take place and evidence available was not secured at that time by
    the NCC or after and obstruction to securing it by the prosecution.
    (iv) PACE 1984 rules of evidence for criminal prosecutions were not observed

    2. Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is flawed, possibly illegal.
    Unconscionable behaviour by the executive
    This category of the doctrine of abuse is Exceptional. It arises from the duty of the High Court (first articulated in the case of Bennett v Horseferry Magistrates’ Court) to oversee executive action so as to prevent the State taking advantage of acts that threaten either basic human rights or the rule of law (including international law).
    In R v Looseley; Attorney General’s Reference (No 3 of 2000) [2002] 1 Cr. App. R. 29, the House of Lords held that:
    The courts can use their inherent power to stay proceedings in order to ensure that executive agents of the state do not misuse the coercive law enforcement functions of the court;
    The English Bill of Rights 1698 are clear on this
    That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
    There are numerous (Thousands) of references by city councils and the minister of justice himself in parliament of FPN ‘penalties’ being stated as “Fines”.
    Dropping litter is a criminal offence. FACT.
    Where in English law does it state that a council has the right to assist you to “avoid prosecution” in return for paying them a fee/fine or any monetary advantage? Or where does it condone threats of and harassment tactics to secure a payment from an individual
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Article 11:(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

    (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission, which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

    3. The original summons is not legal or flawed in it’s issue
    Regina v. Brentford Justices. Ex parte Catlin
    The most relevant to this thread I think are the closing comments of Lord Widgery C.J
    “….It must however be remembered that before a summons or warrant is issued the information must be laid before a magistrate and he must go through the judicial exercise of deciding whether a summons or warrant ought to be issued or not. If a magistrate authorises the issue of a summons without having applied his mind to the information then he is guilty of dereliction of duty and if in any particular justices’ clerk’s office a practice goes on of summonses being issued without information being laid before the magistrate at all, then a very serious instance of maladministration arises which should have the attention of the authorities without delay….”
    Another related to this case:
    “A decision by magistrates whether to issue a summons pursuant to information laid involves the exercise of a judicial function, and is not merely administrative.”
    There also remains issues of “BULK summons issues and decisions”
    Information requesting the tracking of these permissions, processes and locations of individuals engaged in that process (summons issuing) have been requested but obstructively withheld thus far.

    4. Full Disclosure has not been complied with
    (i) Numerous instances of requests exist and have been ignored by the prosecution
    and even the HMCTS including FOI requests for information’s simply for this court use,
    have been denied on the grounds/pretence that our request is malicious?
    (ii) Other Information requested has been delayed/obstructed/destroyed
    Case Name: R v Birmingham and Others (1992) Crim LR 117
    Issue/Summary: A video recording had not been disclosed to the defence, even after specific requests were made for unused material to be served. By the time of the trial the tape could not be found and there was no prospect of it being found. It was held that the prosecution was under a duty to disclose and that the defence was prejudiced as a result of the nondisclosure A fair trial was therefore impossible.
    Argument succeeds: Yes
    The court in R v Calderdale Justices (on the application of Donahue) 18 October 2000 held that the magistrates had erred in refusing the defendant’s request for adjournment when a video of the incident had not been given to the defendants. The purpose of the prosecution disclosing such information was to enable the defendant to make an informed choice as to his plea and mode of trial. The Crown conceded that a video was a ‘document, for the purpose of the relevant rule.

    This issue was considered by the European Court of Human Rights in Sofris v S [2004] Crim. L.R. 846.
    The Court held that Article 6 of the ECHR (the right to a fair trial) would only be violated as a result of the destruction of evidence where the loss of evidence put the defendant at a disadvantage compared with the prosecution.

    5. The Council are willingly or not, engaged in an illegal act (Bribery ) by offering a chance to pay them not to prosecute.
    The Bribery Act 2010 creates new offences
    ( See also Valentine’s day 2014 amendments)
    a “passive” offence of receiving a bribe (financial or otherwise) either directly or through a third party;
    an offence where commercial organisations fail to prevent bribery by persons performing services on their behalf (including employees, agents and subsidiaries) (the Corporate Offence).
    A magistrates court clerk who was paid not to record a driving offence
    A magistrates court clerk who was paid not to record a driving offence has become the first person to be convicted under anti-bribery legislation introduced this summer.
    The misconduct charge stated that between 23 February 2009 and August this year(13) Patel gave people advice for payments about how to avoid being summoned to court for similar offences.
    “He advised defendants on how to avoid being brought to court”. Jailing Patel, of Green Lane, Dagenham, east London, the judge said there were ‘no sentencing guidelines’ with which to work, given that the case was the first of its kind under the new legislation
    This should be the second. The Chief executive of NCC is responsible.
    Where in English law does it state that a corporate body or individual can take a payment from individuals simply to avoid being prosecuted or to waive their right to a fair trial? Or induced to give up their right to a fair trial by threatening or emphasising the possibility of heavier fines?
    Taking money or asking for money in these circumstances to secure a non-attendance at court and or avoid the possibility of being found guilty or of increased fines. This is an act of misconduct and if money was accepted then that adds bribery. NCC are not outside the law.
    The Chief executive is responsible for council employees or agents carrying out and supporting these actions of “pay me to make it go away”.
    Emailed Letter received from an International London based Lawyer:
    Dear Mr Vernon
    Thank you for your email message of 23 February. The scenario you describe may be a criminal offence under s.2 of the Bribery http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/section/2.
    There may well also be an offence of misconduct in a public office.
    I hope that is helpful.

    Further consideration:
    an offence where commercial organisations fail to prevent bribery by persons performing services on their behalf (including employees, agents and subsidiaries) (the Corporate Offence). Relevant activity, as defined by the act, includes carrying out a public function, ie policing. This is mirrored by the creation of the offence of receiving an inducement in the same circumstances. Improper performance is defined as the performance of a function in breach of a relevant expectation that the reasonable man would expect of a police officer.

    6. The council are in breach of their own policies National policies and public duties
    (Malicious Prosecution)
    This evidence is to show this is being withheld by the NCC despite numerous requests including an FOI request.
    Case Name: Antoine v Sharma [2006] UKPC 57
    Issue/Summary: The Privy Council held that the power to stay criminal proceedings for abuse of process was wide enough to embrace an application challenging a decision to prosecute on the ground that it was arrived at under political pressure or influence or was motivated politically rather than by an objective review of proper prosecutorial considerations.
    Argument succeeds: Yes

    ‘We have been doing all we can to minimise the impact of the cuts on key services, especially those which are relied on by vulnerable people, and take no pleasure in carrying out the cuts or bringing case like this to court.
    ‘Councillors’ allowances have been frozen for over four years, during which time we have had to save £125 million from our budget.’
    Nottingham City Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Graham Chapman

    8. ********** submitted documents to the court supposedly agreed or filled in by the defendant.
    Stating falsely and in an attempt to mislead the court that (and or supposedly agreed or filled in by the defendant) we had agreed to certain witnesses evidence being read to the court? Which we had not.
    The Court form made it clear that part 2 & 3 should be filled in by the DEFENDANT. Also at part 11 this has NOT been filled in by us?

    9. The Public interest test has not been applied properly
    How serious is the offence committed?
    What is the level of culpability of the suspect?
    Is prosecution a proportionate response?
    Also to not burden the magistrates with single witness only cases as a done deal.
    The criminal burden of proof is a well-established understanding of the law “Beyond a reasonable doubt” there are clear warnings and precedents on this (Turnbull) to help relieve the magistrates of continually having to make ambiguous decisions for the most minor offence such as a dropped crisp or cigarette end. The prosecution and expense to the public purse should be reserved for more serious littering fly tipping etc This would be in line with DEFRA and KEEP BRITIAN TIDY and many other authoritive bodies recommendations.
    The courts are for JUSTICE… not revenue collection for badly managed councils.

    10. Computer generated evidences have not been certificated
    Even where a computer-stored statement fulfils the requirements of s.24 of the 1988 Act, it will not be admissible unless it also meets the provisions of s.69(1) PACE.
    It was recently made clear by the Court of Appeal in R v Minors (1989) that computer records which are hearsay have to clear both these hurdles, and the mere fact that a record satisfies the accuracy requirements of s.69 PACE does not exempt it from the admissibility requirements of s.24 Criminal Justice Act 1988.
    11. Statutory interpretation – presumptions – mens rea required in criminal offences
    K, R v [2001] HL
    Sweet v Parsley [1970] HL
    Lord Diplock;
    The courts will not easily ‘infer an intention of Parliament to create offences for which an honest and reasonable mistake was no excuse’.
    “…a general principle of construction of any enactment, which creates a criminal offence [is] that, … they are … to be read as subject to the implication that a necessary element in the offence is the absence of a belief held honestly and on reasonable grounds in the existence of facts which, if true, would make the act innocent.
    Not guilty
    The law will never require that the mistake have been reasonable, provided it was honestly held and Tolson is now bad law.

  10. I was given one of these, when I called the police to a road rage incident during which I was assaulted. I did not provoke the attack. I had my family with me in my car at the time, my wife and 3 children.

    The police officer was rude and told me to shut up, when I tried to explain why I called them.

    I called him an idiot because he refused to let me speak.

    Nobody was in the vicinity who could of overheard my remark.

    I was then given a fixed penalty notice for disorder at Malinsgate Police station in Telford.

    The officer who gave me the ticket was the one who arrested me.

    He told me when he left that I was nothing to him and that he would not loose sleep at night for what he had done.

    I contacted the IPCC and lodged a complaint. I decided to appeal the notice and I do not think I was arrested or given the notice lawfully.

    I did not swear or harass anyone in a public place.

    After being assaulted the police should listen to what you have to say, or am I missing something here.

    I called them as the complainant, why would you arrest a person who calls you to an incident?

    If anyone can give me any advice please do not hesitate to contact me as I await a court date.

    01952 279006

    • I’m very sorry, but we are unable to give legal advice. We would suggest that you contact a solicitor.

  11. Can you let me know if a drunk and disorderly penalty which you were taken into custody for and which you have paid shows on an enhanced dbs check please? If so how long will it show on there for? Does it show anywhere else? Are you able to travel to the USA if this is on your record or will you be denied entry?

    Thanks.

  12. Was arrested last week and charged with drunk and disorderly, issued a £90 fine and that all seems fair and just…however in my defence, I put myself in a taxi because I knew I was too drunk..for some strange reason the taxi driver decided to go past my house and then told me to get out and that I had to pay..even though I wasn’t anywhere near my destination. There happened to be a police car parked not 20 metres from the main road where I was being told I had to pay in advance to get home..I refused and told the police officers that I wasn’t going to pay as he had not dropped me where I asked..I did hand over some of the fare and the taxi driver just got back in his vehicle and drove off..the police then told me to walk home..across a pitch black park, and my responds was basically this is stupid, I’m far too drunk to walk home, that’s why I put myself in a taxi..they then told me to walk around, which again put me in danger as it was next to main roads, I asked for their assistance to get me home, they refused and after a little arguing I made my way across the road and nearly got hit by an ambulance..at this point they arrested me, I quite rightly told them this was rediculous and when we got to the police station, I even said to the officer you have done the wrong thing by arresting me, you could have got me a taxi, took me home…was only 2 mins drive from my house. Does the taxi driver or the police not have a duty of care..especially when I had done everything I could to get home in a safe manner? I’m thinking of appealing the fine on sheer principle..any advice or just because I was drunk does it mean Im automatically in the wrong? Please advise.

    • We’re very sorry, but we cannot give legal advice through the blog. You need to speak to a solicitor of public access barrister.

  13. Schools issue penalty notices under the Education Act (England). It seems to be quite common. I’d like to know whether this is proportionate and necessary, especially where the school’s data is incorrect.

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