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Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Penalty notices and penalties

2Penalty notices

(1)A constable who has reason to believe that a person aged 18 or over has committed a penalty offence may give him a penalty notice in respect of the offence.

(2)Unless the notice is given in a police station, the constable giving it must be in uniform.

(3)At a police station, a penalty notice may be given only by an authorised constable.

(4)In this Chapter “penalty notice” means a notice offering the opportunity, by paying a penalty in accordance with this Chapter, to discharge any liability to be convicted of the offence to which the notice relates.

(5)“Authorised constable” means a constable authorised, on behalf of the chief officer of police for the area in which the police station is situated, to give penalty notices.

3Amount of penalty and form of penalty notice

(1)The penalty payable in respect of a penalty offence is such amount as the Secretary of State may specify by order.

(2)But the Secretary of State may not specify an amount which is more than a quarter of the amount of the maximum fine for which a person is liable on conviction of the offence.

(3)A penalty notice must—

(a)be in the prescribed form;

(b)state the alleged offence;

(c)give such particulars of the circumstances alleged to constitute the offence as are necessary to provide reasonable information about it;

(d)specify the suspended enforcement period (as to which see section 5) and explain its effect;

(e)state the amount of the penalty;

(f)state the justices' chief executive to whom, and the address at which, the penalty may be paid; and

(g)inform the person to whom it is given of his right to ask to be tried for the alleged offence and explain how that right may be exercised.

(4)“Prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(5)The power to make regulations or an order conferred by this section is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(6)Such an instrument shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

4Effect of penalty notice

(1)This section applies if a penalty notice is given to a person (“A”) under section 2.

(2)If A asks to be tried for the alleged offence, proceedings may be brought against him.

(3)Such a request must be made by a notice given by A—

(a)in the manner specified in the penalty notice; and

(b)before the end of the period of suspended enforcement (as to which see section 5).

(4)A request which is made in accordance with subsection (3) is referred to in this Chapter as a “request to be tried”.

(5)If, by the end of the suspended enforcement period—

(a)the penalty has not been paid in accordance with this Chapter, and

(b)A has not made a request to be tried,

a sum equal to one and a half times the amount of the penalty may be registered under section 8 for enforcement against A as a fine.

5General restriction on proceedings

(1)Proceedings for the offence to which a penalty notice relates may not be brought until the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the date on which the notice was given (“the suspended enforcement period”).

(2)If the penalty is paid before the end of the suspended enforcement period, no proceedings may be brought for the offence.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply if the person to whom the penalty notice was given has made a request to be tried.

6Secretary of State’s guidance

The Secretary of State may issue guidance—

(a)about the exercise of the discretion given to constables by this Chapter;

(b)about the issuing of penalty notices;

(c)with a view to encouraging good practice in connection with the operation of provisions of this Chapter.

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