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Penalty Tickets

Volume 456: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many penalty tickets have been issued in Surrey to individuals for offences other than road traffic offences in the last 12 months; what the value was of such issued tickets; and what percentage of such value has been collected. (116578)

The penalty notice for disorder (PND) scheme was introduced in England and Wales in 2004. Under the scheme, the police are able to issue persons suspected of committing specified minor offences with a fixed penalty notice of £50 or £80. No admission of guilt is required and payment of the penalty discharges all liability to conviction for the offence. Data held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform show that 641 PNDs were issued in the Surrey police force area in 2005 which is the most recent 12 month period for which complete and finalized data are available. Of these, 517 were issued for ‘higher tier offences’ which attract a penalty of £80; the remaining 124 were for ‘lower tier offences’ which attract a penalty of £50. The total value of these tickets was £47,560. Data for 2006 will be available in mid 2007.

The initial payment rate for PNDs in Surrey was 63 per cent. in 2005. 35 per cent. of PND recipients had a fine of one and a half times the penalty registered against them, as they failed to pay the penalty or request a court hearing within the 21 day suspended enforcement period. Once registered, these fines fall into the HMCS fine enforcement and collection systems. Figures provided by the Courts Service show that the courts achieved an overall payment rate for all kinds of fines of 83 per cent. in 2005-06.