Fixed Penalty Notices issued by a Private Company

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  • #138278

    alynpen-y-cae
    Participant

    I am not one usually for seeking the public’s opinion or rallying the public together to address matters. But I think there are some facts that you ought to know.
    If like me you dislike people dropping litter, people allowing the dogs to defecate and not clean it up then I am sure you agree that we should have an enforcement team who ensure that we do pick up our litter, clean up after our dogs and use the bins provided. To ensure we follow those rules Wrexham like many other councils employ their own enforcement officers who abide by an ethical code of conduct, such as asking you to clean up and pick up before they issue you with a fine.
    Today however we find that a number of councils employ a private firm called Kingdom to do some of those tasks on their behalf, usually its littering and dog fouling. Did you know though that they have been asked to have a zero tolerance approach to this and fine people on the spot without using an ethical code of practice.
    Unlike the council officers they don’t wear a uniform you recognise they hide in plain clothes, they hide in cars in car parks and issue immediate fines. So what you might say, well the government advises that on private land such as island green and eagles meadow, morrisons, asda and other places that have their own car parks that they must ask the permission of the landlord. In many cases they do not, they quote legislation about open spaces and fine people some of these fines are effectively illegal as they should not do so without the permission of the landlords.
    You would think that Wrexham as a Council would put a stop to this and would ensure that the company they employ would not harass and behave in such a manner to its residents (they call us citizens).
    I asked 4 questions of Wrexham Council
    1. What are the number of tickets that have been used by Wrexham’s Contractor called kingdom in the last 18months.
    Response: 2016 to 2017 6058
    2017 alone to September of this year 2034
    2. The revenue which issuing the tickets has earned (the money they have made in other words
    Response for all types of fixed penalty notices
    2016/2017 £310,200.00
    2017 to the end of August £81,531.50
    3. The revenue which Wrexham has earned from the request in point 2 has received the same answer as 2. I thought I had asked how much Kingdom earned from this but I need to go and ask that question
    4 The number of tickets which were issued on private land
    They responded by referring to trust land ie hospital or similar
    2016/17 2911
    to august 2017 740
    Point 4 take into account if they do not have the landowners permission the ticket is effectively illegal.
    Help me, lets get Wrexham to employ its own staff, staff who work in an ethical manner. Write to your local County Councillor and complain. Watch this space I have already written to 30 shops in Wrexham informing them of the news that their shoppers are being targeted by a company that is not bound by the same rules as the Wrexham staff. Complain to you councillor and get them to employ their own teams and not use a company that is not working in the same way

    Issuing FPNs on private land
    Before you enter private land to issue FPNs, you should consider whether to get consent, because you don’t have statutory powers of entry in this situation.
    This applies to privately owned land which the public can access.
    The only exception is for waste collection authorities investigating fly-tipping. They can enter private land without permission.

    Enforcement officers: issuing fixed penalty notices – GOV.UK
    How and when you can issue fixed penalty notices…
    gov.uk

    #138349

    Borras81
    Participant

    They are not allowed to issue tickets on private land, that is why the management at Eagles Meadow has banned them from operating on their land. They only try and fine easy targets,such as elderly people or lone women who have accidentally dropped a receipt from their pockets, but they won’t dare approach lads standing outside the pubs on High Street deliberately throwing litter. They are a private security firm and you ARE NOT OBLIGED to give them your details.

    If Kingdom approach you to issue a fine then firstly, politely tell no and walk away.

    Secondly, try to walk into a shop or onto private land, as they are not allowed to follow you onto private land to try to issue FPN notices.

    Thirdly, do not be afraid of their threats to call the police for refusing to give your details as the police WILL NOT attend. This is because it is a civil matter and the only role the police would have if they were to attend would
    be to prevent breach of the peace. Seeing as the police won’t even come out to investigate burglary these days, they certainly won’t be interested in attending to prevent breach of the peace over an accidentally dropped bit of litter. Also, even if the police did attend, they can not pass your details over to Kingdom Security, as this would be a breach of data protection.

    #138373

    Matt
    Participant

    They are not allowed to issue tickets on private land, that is why the management at Eagles Meadow has banned them from operating on their land. They only try and fine easy targets,such as elderly people or lone women who have accidentally dropped a receipt from their pockets, but they won’t dare approach lads standing outside the pubs on High Street deliberately throwing litter. They are a private security firm and you ARE NOT OBLIGED to give them your details.

    If Kingdom approach you to issue a fine then firstly, politely tell no and walk away.

    Secondly, try to walk into a shop or onto private land, as they are not allowed to follow you onto private land to try to issue FPN notices.

    Thirdly, do not be afraid of their threats to call the police for refusing to give your details as the police WILL NOT attend. This is because it is a civil matter and the only role the police would have if they were to attend would
    be to prevent breach of the peace. Seeing as the police won’t even come out to investigate burglary these days, they certainly won’t be interested in attending to prevent breach of the peace over an accidentally dropped bit of litter. Also, even if the police did attend, they can not pass your details over to Kingdom Security, as this would be a breach of data protection.

    If there are no means for them to legally enforce a fine on you, then surely their behaviour within a public space is nothing more than an extortion racket where they are threatening the vulnerable to pay out cash. At what point does this actually become a scandal?

    #138427

    Borras81
    Participant

    That’s exactly what it is, an extortion racket. Kingdom keep a certain percentage of any fines issued for themselves. They also have a bonus scheme whereby their officers earn more money if they issue a certain amount of fines each day. This is another reason why they only pick on soft targets, because they know that they are more likely to hand over their details, thus allowing them to issue a fine which in turn keeps them in a job.

    #138434

    Andy
    Participant

    Borras 81. Please do not come here and give crap advice.

    Read here . Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/43/section/88

    “If an authorised officer of a litter authority proposes to give a person a notice under this section, the officer may require the person to give him his name and address.

    (8B)A person commits an offence if—

    (a)he fails to give his name and address when required to do so under subsection (8A) above, or

    (b)he gives a false or inaccurate name or address in response to a requirement under that subsection.

    (8C)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (8B) above is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.]

    (9)For the purposes of this section the following are “litter authorities”—

    (a)any principal litter authority, other than [F3an English county] council [F4, a regional council] or a joint board;

    (b)any [F5English] county council [F6, regional council] or joint board designated by the Secretary of State, by order, in relation to such area as is specified in the order (not being an area in a National Park);”

    #138435

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    Litter is anything dropped in a public place, from sweet wrappers to bin liners or household rubbish. It also includes smoking-related litter. An estimated 122 tonnes of cigarette butts, matchsticks and cigarette-related litter is dropped every day across the UK.

    The presence of litter degrades the environment and affects people’s quality of life.

    Litter in England and Wales

    The law on litter

    To throw down, drop or otherwise deposit and leave litter in any place open to the air, including private land, is a criminal offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), (as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005). This offence includes dropping litter in water such as rivers, streams and lakes.

    The police or local authority can prosecute the offender; it is also possible for private individuals to prosecute. The offence is dealt with by the magistrates’ court, with a maximum fine of £2,500.

    Prosecution for dropping litter is time consuming and expensive, making it very difficult to prosecute large numbers of litter offenders. As an alternative to prosecution, section 88 of the EPA gives the power to issue a fixed penalty notice for the offence of leaving litter. Local authorities have the power to specify the level of fine that will apply in their area, with a standard default amount of £75 if they choose not to do so. The offender has 14 days to pay. Failure to pay can result in a prosecution. Where appropriate, penalty notices may be issued to children aged 10 or over, as well as to adults.

    Local authorities are entitled to keep any of the money they get out of fixed penalty notices.

    Penalty notices

    Penalty notices can be issued by

    Litter authority authorised officers, including persons not employed by the local authority (includes parish councils, National Park authorities and the Broads Authority)
    Accredited persons – litter wardens
    Police community support officers (PCSOs)
    Power to photograph persons given a penalty notice

    Police officers, PCSOs (where designated) and accredited persons, have the power to photograph persons, away from the police station, who have been issued with a penalty notice. By taking photographs of those who have been issued with a penalty notice, their ability to claim that they were not present when the incident happened is greatly reduced.

    Notices and Orders to prevent and clean up litter

    On public property
    The local authority has a legal duty to clear refuse and litter from land for which it has responsibility, such as streets, parks, playgrounds, tourist beaches and pedestrian areas.

    Members of the public can apply to the magistrates’ court for a Litter Abatement Order to ensure that an area under the control of a duty body is cleared of litter and refuse. The notice requires the responsible body to clean the area within a specified timescale. Non-compliance is punishable by a maximum fine of £2,500.

    Local authorities can also place controls on the distribution of free literature, to prevent flyers, handouts and pamphlets from becoming litter. It is an offence for anyone to distribute, or cause someone else to distribute, free literature, without consent, in an area designated in terms of the EPA by a principal litter authority. The offence incurs a fixed penalty notice of £75 (default level) or between £50 and £80 if set at a local level. Non-payment can result in prosecution in the magistrates’ court.

    In England and Wales, under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the local authority can make a Public Spaces Protection Order for a particular area and use that order to prohibit the dropping of litter that is persistent or continuing, unreasonable and has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. They can also issue Penalty Notices. See Solutions (England & Wales).

    On private land
    If a piece of private land is littered, the owner is responsible for clearing the litter. Litter causing a nuisance to the public or which is prejudicial to public health (e.g. if causing infestation by rats and mice) could amount to a statutory nuisance under s 79 of the Environment Protection Act. Local authorities have the power to take legal action. They can apply for an abatement order and an order to recover any expenses the authority has incurred to remedy the situation.

    The local authority and police also have power to issue a Community Protection Notice to the property owner or occupier under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act if their conduct is unreasonable and having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality. This notice must specify the action required by the owner or occupier but can only require them to do what is reasonable to stop the detrimental effect.

    If the owner or occupier fails to carry out the action required in the notice, they commit an offence and are liable to a fine of up to £2,500. Alternatively, they can also be given a fixed penalty notice of up to £100. The local authority may carry out the work required if the premises is open to the air. If the premises is not open to the air, they must have the consent of the owner/occupier to go onto the premises to carry out any work. The local authority can recover their expenses in doing the work from the owner/occupier.

    #138516

    The Monitor
    Participant

    Jah Vol Mein Fuhrer!

    #138544

    bubble
    Participant

    I’m clearly failing to understand the issue here. Don’t drop litter or leave dog sh*t, and you won’t be fined. It seems quite straightforward to me, not an unreasonable rule, and not difficult to comply with.

    #138547

    Andy
    Participant

    The issue here is Borras81 is giving erroneous advice.

    #138762

    bubble
    Participant

    The issue here is Borras81 is giving erroneous advice.

    That isn’t the issue this thread started with.
    I always find it bizarre that people complain about fines for such things as litter, parking and speeding, when the solution to not getting these fines is actually very simple.

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