Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby macarthurseal » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:39 am

Was walking (thankfully) my bike round SOAS in London looking for a place to lock it up this morning, when I came across this police snare, in the process of fining 3 or 4 people every few minutes. A fine use of the time of 8 police officers (two on bikes were out of shot), when we are now well into an upsurge of robberies and burgleries on account of the recession in London.

Image

Apparently the other side of this pedestrianised area there is a cyclists dismount sign, but the side the police are on has a bike path leading directly on to it abruptly disappearing but with no sign to dismount. The police could see people cycling towards them on the road, but rather than warning them, they would let them get on to the paved area before telling them to stop and fining them.

Legally dubious I think too - would a paved street count as a footway legally, since it does not run alongside a road. In any case it is about 20ft wide and really there is no problem pedestrians and cyclists sharing it.

My main question is why do police do this? Is it just an easy way to get credit for enforcement or what?
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby snibgo » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:55 am

If it doesn't run alongside a road, it isn't a footway, so cycling isn't automatically banned under the 1835 Act.

But cycling could be prohibited under a TRO, and it sounds as if it is, as there is a sign on the other side.

If there is no sign on this side, a cyclist might claim in court that he had never ridden this way before and didn't know cycling was banned. (An FPN is an offer to settle outside court, but a cyclist can decline to accept the offer.)

Why do they do it? To boost the numbers, I suppose. Morally the police should tell the authorities to put up a proper sign.
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby Richard Mann » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:57 am

If it's only a Cyclist Dismount sign, then they are ultra vires. I hope someone challenges it.
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby CTC London » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:39 pm

I have notified LCC Camden of this. I would have sent to CTC R2R Representative for that area but there is none, can you help.


If you want to be CTC R2R Representative for London Borough of Camden

Contact
Laura Brooks
Volunteer Support Officer – Right to Ride

01483 238 323
righttoride(replace with the at sign here)ctc.org.uk
Philip Benstead
Secretary
CTC London – Working to promote the use of the cycle as a means of utility, transport or leisure for ALL.
Email to ctclondon@yahoogroups.co.uk
CTC London Twitter: @CTCLondon)
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby thirdcrank » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

As one of my former inspectors used to say "The mind boggles, Michael, the mind boggles." :shock:

(This scene will be coming to somewhere near you, just as soon as elected police commissioners get their hands on the levers.)
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby snibgo » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:18 pm

Ah, yes, I missed the significence of "cyclists dismount" -- that is advice, not a command. It sounds as if there is no prohibition on cycling, and the police have bodged their job.
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby Malaconotus » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:39 pm

Streetview... http://g.co/maps/grpk6

No way on earth are the police within their rights here. No signage to indicate a TRO, and the paved area is not a footway. Worth getting a message to the SOAS Student Union to tell people to challenge their FPNs?
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby ambodach » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:13 pm

The streets in the small town where I live are littered with 20mph signs, some in totally ludicrous places. At one entrance to the town however there are no signs and you can find yourself in a 20mph zone with no warning. When we were agitating for the enforcement of the 20 speed limit we were told this was not currently possible due to to the lack of that one sign. This is in Scotland but I imagine the scenario in this post should be the same. No sign no fine!
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby Ellieb » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:09 am

Off topic entirely but the streetview link shows a really surreal view of an aircraft over Russsel Square :D
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby Malaconotus » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:16 am

Ellieb wrote:Off topic entirely but the streetview link shows a really surreal view of an aircraft over Russsel Square :D


I missed that!... http://g.co/maps/w8m2u FPN for the pilot?
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby jeandollimore » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:21 am

I have contacted Inspector Dave Dixon and am awaiting his response as to why this is happening.
Jean Dollimore (Camden Cyclists - LCC in camden)
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby Ribblehead » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:27 pm

snibgo wrote:Why do they do it? To boost the numbers, I suppose. Morally the police should tell the authorities to put up a proper sign.


Boost the numbers? Probably. Would I be correct in guessing that each FPN is a crime detected, solved and justice served in one fell swoop?

snibgo wrote:Ah, yes, I missed the significence of "cyclists dismount" -- that is advice, not a command. It sounds as if there is no prohibition on cycling, and the police have bodged their job.


When I was a kid my local footpaths had no cycling signs. They took the form of a picture of a bike surrounded by a red circle. If that's the same as a speed limit restriction then the red circle indicates a 'must obey' command. As you said, if they want it to be mandatory the proper 'no cycling' sign should be displayed.
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby snibgo » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:59 pm

Ribblehead wrote:Would I be correct in guessing that each FPN is a crime detected, solved and justice served in one fell swoop?

Judge, jury and executioner, all in one.

Although I think legally (I could be wrong) an FPN alleges an offence has been committed, but says the case won't go to court if the payment is made. Hence, I think that even the payment of a FPN isn't an admission of guilt.
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby Ribblehead » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:44 pm

snibgo wrote:
Ribblehead wrote:Would I be correct in guessing that each FPN is a crime detected, solved and justice served in one fell swoop?

Judge, jury and executioner, all in one.

Although I think legally (I could be wrong) an FPN alleges an offence has been committed, but says the case won't go to court if the payment is made. Hence, I think that even the payment of a FPN isn't an admission of guilt.


Does that mean you receive a criminal record without ever having appeared in court and defended yourself? Does a FPN always result in a criminal record, or is it a civil matter? What's the correct procedure to reject a FPN? I assume it's something other than tearing it in half in front of the eyes of the person who issued it.

Here's an incident I witnessed a year or so back:
1. Car pulls up outside a takeaway on double yellows, and blocking a cycle lane
2. Civil enforcement officer invites driver to move
3. Driver ignores request to move
4. Ticket issued and fixed to windscreen
5. Passenger emerges from takeaway and removes ticket from windscreen
6. Ticket is ripped up and thrown out of the car window as the vehicle drives away

The enforcement officer informed me that the driver would now receive the original ticket, plus a further ticket for littering.

Would that have resulted in a criminal record?
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Re: Fixed Penalty Notice Bonanza

Postby snibgo » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:52 pm

My understanding is that paying an FPN means the person hasn't admitted a crime, and won't be prosectuted for one. He won't be on a database as having committed a crime.

If a person ignores the FPN, the case will go to court where he could plead guilty, or may be found guilty or not guilty.

If he pleads or is found guilty, the penalty will be more then the FPN.
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