Friday, 23 July 2010

Those Fixed Penalty Notices Again - More Info

We've had a response to our Freedom of Info request regarding the enforcement of fixed penalty notices which I blogged about at the back end of June. It's quite interesting so allow me to tell you about it.

It seems that the only policy in place for deciding which FPNs to enforce is an over arching NCC wide 'Enforcement Policy Statement'. Not that they actually gave me the link mind, the unhelpful buggers just told me it was on the website and left me to find it for myself. At least this time the site's search facility worked.

Anyway, this document is predictably vague and makes lots of soft claims about being courteous and proportionate and the like. As far as I can tell it contains nothing about situations where there aren't enough resources to enforce all cases and which ones are priorities (or perhaps 'priority driven prioritisations' in NCC corporate wankspeak). There's stuff about taking into account the 'history of the party concerned' which might seem to imply that someone who regularly picks tickets up or doesn't pay them would warrant closer attention next time but that's about it. Pretty poor, should do better IMHO.

Onto the numbers then cos they're quite juicy.

I asked about hoe many people had managed to evade enforcement for more than two FPNs due to the six month time limit and apparently there have been eleven since June 2006. Of these two people have managed to avoid enforcement on seven FPNs and this the record so far apparently. Seven! Wonder how they managed to get away with that? It's difficult to see why they don't prosecute if they know who it is, which they clearly do as they've kept track of the numbers. Doesn't seem to be consistent with the bit about taking the person's history into account. Strange.

I think this pretty much confirms my original suspicions that enforcement is pretty random. While I understand the thinking behind having an overall policy FPNs are a bit of a special case due to the numbers involved. As I said before, once you face a situation where not all cases will be enforced you need to decide how to prioritise cases fairly.

If you've been issued with a FPN and paid up you might feel a bit sick about all that.

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