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Thread: Police chief backs instant fines
12-30-07, 08:00 AM #1
Police chief backs instant fines
On-the-spot fines are helping police fight anti-social behaviour, according to a chief constable.
Ian McPherson, who heads the Norfolk force, claims the £80 cash demands have stopped vandals in their tracks and impressed the public.
He explained that imposing the fines also erased the need for a lot of paperwork and allowed officers to continue on shift.
Mr McPherson said over 1,000 instant fines were handed out in 2007.
He vowed to use more in future and officers would utilise them to clamp down on vandalism and drunkenness.
"An £80 fine is not a small amount of money. It's a strong penalty," said Mr McPherson.
"We're not finding that we have problems collecting the money. We've increased the number we are handing out and they are working.
"We only use them where appropriate for low-level crime and there is a right of appeal."
He said: "The offenders know that they are going to be hit in the pocket immediately and the community sees that police are taking action straight away.
"One of the frustrations for the community often is that they don't see the effects of the justice system.
"I think instant justice is something quite positive."
I don't know if his force are using these differently to us but they don't save any paperwork except the court file (which wouldn't be completed if the offender was formal cautioned or warned).
Many of the offences they can be issued for still require an interview (theft and criminal damage).
Drunks can't be given one on the street so you either still have to arrest or you have to go and see them later to issue them which won't save any time.
Political spin again on this story I think.
12-30-07, 09:24 AM #2
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