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Public Order Offences

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many penalty notices for disorder issued in each of the last five years were paid in full within the 21 day limit established by the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001; (137157)

(2) how many penalty notices for disorder were issued in each of the last five years to individuals aged (a) 10 to 15 years old, (b) 15 to 16 years old and (c) over 16 years old;

(3) how many and what percentage of penalty notices for disorder issued in each of the last five years were (a) successfully and (b) unsuccessfully contested in court.

I have been asked to reply.

Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) Scheme was rolled out to all police forces in England and Wales in 2004 under provisions in the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, allowing on-the-spot fines to be issued to offenders aged 16 and over for a range of minor disorder offences. Prior to this the police did not have the option of issuing on the spot fines for the offences covered by the scheme, having instead to issue a formal caution, reprimand or final warning or refer offenders to the court system to bring them to justice.

Data from the PND database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform showing the number of PNDs issued to offenders aged over 16 in 2004, 2005 as well as provisional data for 2006 are provided in the table, along with the number of PNDs paid in full and contested in court for 2004 and 2005. Information on whether the contested PNDs were successfully contested is not centrally collected.

Data for 2006 on the number of PNDs paid in full within the 21-day period are currently unavailable as the data for this period have not been finalized.

The evaluation of the pilots undertaken in six police areas for issuing penalty notices for disorder to 10 to 15-year-olds was completed in November 2006 and is currently going through the final quality assurance procedures prior to publication. Until that process is complete we are not able to provide any figures relating to 10 to 15-year-olds.

Number of PNDs issued to offenders aged 16 and over, the number who paid the fine within 21 days and the number contested in court England and Wales 2004, 2005 and 2006 provisional data1

PNDs issued to offenders aged 16 and over

Number paid in full within 21 days

Number contested in court

2004

63,639

24,126

360

2005

146,481

56,823

1,588

2006 (provisional)

192,583

— =Data not available as described in draft. 1 Every effort is made to ensure that the data presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that data are extracted from large scale data collection systems provided by the police. As a consequence, care should be taken to assure that these data collection processes, and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when these data are used.