On-the-spot fines for some offenders

On-the-spot fines for antisocial behaviour by adult offenders
are being issued by police in a pilot scheme that started on
Offences including drunk and disorderly, throwing fireworks and
wilful obstruction will result in a £40 fine.

Those who use threatening behaviour or words causing alarm or
distress, waste police time or make hoax 999 calls will be fined

Offenders will have the option of paying the fine by post within
21 days. If they fail to pay it or elect for a court hearing,
police can prosecute for the original offence, which may lead to a
higher penalty.

Pilot schemes started earlier this week in Essex, West Midlands
and Croydon, south London. North Wales will join next month.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “It will reduce police time
spent on paperwork and courts’ time in dealing with
prosecutions, yet provides a punishment for the

Many suspects, particularly if they are drunk or are unable to
prove their identity, will still be arrested and taken to the
police station before being fined. Plans for immediate payments
were dropped.

But there is still concern that issuing fines on the street will
lead to confrontation in areas where the police have poor relations
with local communities.

Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, said
the subjective nature of the officer’s decision was likely to
result in more complaints.

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