It's OK, if it's Fine.

  spuds 10:37 03 Oct 2006

No not talking about the weather or computer ailments, but the ever increasing powers of issuing Fines for nearly everything nowadays.

Once upon a time, it was the duty of a police officer to conduct an investigation into an offense before submitting a report for possible prosecution and a Fine being administered by a court. Nowadays, nearly anybody with a badge or identity card or 'authority' seems to have the powers to issue on the spot fines, remove or report you for a possible committed offense.

An addition to this, is more and more people seem to have authority to gain access to property so as to remove goods or conduct an investigation of some form or another. As an example, many council's have many sweeping powers under certain Act's and regulations. In the olden days, it was more of a case 'A man and his castle', and no one dared to enter over the threshold, so to say.

What's your views, are we heading for a 'Big Brother' state, and should we take these ever increasing events lightly?.

  Kate B 11:35 03 Oct 2006

Actually, I think on-the-spot fines are an efficient way of dealing with problems. There's no expensive administration and the offender gets a short, sharp shock where it hurts: in the wallet. The caveat, of course, is that they must be legitmate. What were you thinking of in particular, spuds? I don't think any more people than before have the right to come into your home: it's the police and bailiffs and I guess the military, that's all - isn't it? And even they have to have a warrant.

  robgf 13:37 03 Oct 2006

I'm in favour of some of the fines, like littering, but I'm suprised that the system works.
What is to stop you just walking away, when challenged by a litter warden?
They are presumably not allowed to physically restrain you and as a lot of people don't carry much cash on them, they must just be issued with a ticket, to pay later, what is to stop you giving a false name and address. (preferably of someone you don't like)

With the latest suggestion, of on the spot fines of £60 for muggers, my brother pointed out, that they could use the contents of the wallet they had just stolen, to pay the fine. :)

  Jak_1 15:50 03 Oct 2006

Kate B
Quote 'I don't think any more people than before have the right to come into your home: it's the police and bailiffs and I guess the military, that's all - isn't it? And even they have to have a warrant. '

The only people who have the right to enter your home are 'HM Customs & Excise', all others require a warrant issued by a magistrate. However, forced entry for emergency purposes without a warrant is permissable but not strictly legal.

  Cymro. 18:07 03 Oct 2006

A lot of these sort of complaints(big brother etc.) are to do with people thinking that things were much better in the good old days. I am probably older than some of you and believe me things were not better in the old days.

  spuds 10:58 05 Oct 2006

This thread seems to have gone to sleep, so I will add further comment. A number of councils are considering making fines or extra charges for 'overweight' domestic household bin refuse, or even making a fine for leaving the bin out overnight, for early morning collection. In the case or overweight fines, this will be in the form of hidden chips inserted in wheelie bins, which activate weighing procedure within the refuse lorry. Anything over a certain weight, and you will be fined. So is it a case of bathroom scales, weighing each item of waste refuse, so that you reach your specified waste weight disposal, or will it be a case that the refuse collector will refuse to take the waste on the pavement, resulting an a further fine, or perhaps fine you 'on the spot' (credit/debit card will do nicely) for exceeding your limits. Would mention that 25.000 of these chips have been removed by the general public, since the chipping procedures were brought to public attention.

Going on a point raised earlier. Litter, Dog Wardens and similar appointed representatives have no authority to restrain people (even though some of these people seem to suggest that they have powers). They can request that you remove the offending objects, or request that you provide voluntary your personal details. If you refuse, they can take your vehicle details, follow you home etc, or request the presence of a police officer (possibly a PCSO soon).

Taking up the point that Kate B raised, regarding short, sharp shock. In my area of the country, the police in conjunction with the council, now provide a 'clean up your own mess' procedure for late night revelers. Cleaning up your own vomit or whatever in view of other people, makes shame an ideal provider, were fining was proving a problem. Try arguing with a drunk, the morning after the event!.

Regarding the power of entry or confiscation have been made far easier over the past few years. Under certain acts, it as become more easier for council's to administer certain powers, were at once upon a time, it was virtually impossible for the council to prevent most things, without a long drawn out legal battle. Certain certified bailiff's, can still gain entry to your property via an open window, forcing the door or forced entry is another matter.

Congestion charge avoidance,parking, overweight bins, litter in the streets and the list continues and get's even longer on a monthly basis. But were will it all end, perhaps when we are all bankrupt and have no finances left at our disposal!.

Would mention, that even nightclub/pub door-staff are trying to seek more powers. The use of handcuffs or plastic ties, baton's and on the spot fines have been mentioned.

  Graham. 11:11 05 Oct 2006

Seems quite simple to me. Behave and you won't get fined.

Only people who are naughty get fined.

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