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Payment of COVID-19 Fines

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PHILIPE

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I was wondering about the payment of fines in respect of COVID breaches particularly if they are actually paid or defaulted on. Another aspect is what is the method of payment when one has been issued by the police. My suspicion is that it could be a matter of just "words" and that there is any actual enforcement of payment is in place. It could be that that the more obstinate defaulters, such as Piers Corbyn's crowd, just ignore them.
 
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221129

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I was wondering about the payment of fines in respect of COVID breaches particularly if they are actually paid or defaulted on. Another aspect is what is the method of payment when one has been issued by the police. My suspicion is that it could be a matter of just "words" and that there is any actual enforcement of payment is in place. It could be that that the more obstinate defaulters, such as Piers Corbyn's crowd, just ignore them.
It would be the same as any other fixed penalty notice.
 

Cdd89

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This FOI is quite enlightening, but fairly old:


Our records indicate from 01 April to 31 August 2020 there have been 791 finalised cases by the CPS. Out of the 141 Coronavirus Act cases all were discontinued.

Of the 650 Regulation offences charged 333 resulted in either a guilty plea or a finding of guilt at trial. There were 63 incorrectly charged cases, 54 were withdrawn with 13 of those having the correct charge substituted and nine were returned to court, re-listed and set aside. The remaining 254 charges were withdrawn. Of all the cases thatresulted in a conviction for a Regulation offence 218 were sentenced by the court to a fine.
 

Skimpot flyer

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I was wondering about the payment of fines in respect of COVID breaches particularly if they are actually paid or defaulted on. Another aspect is what is the method of payment when one has been issued by the police. My suspicion is that it could be a matter of just "words" and that there is any actual enforcement of payment is in place. It could be that that the more obstinate defaulters, such as Piers Corbyn's crowd, just ignore them.
At least one of the fines he incurred went unpaid, legally. Although media coverage was minuscule in comparison to the coverage of his arrest !
Corbyn was handed an absolute discharge - meaning he will not be fined or face any further punishment - after the judge heard he had spent 12 hours in custody after being arrested.
 

KylieWilson

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there were friends who received similar fines, but no one ignored them and the fines are quite real. The consequences of ignoring them can be the same as any offense!
 
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Skimpot flyer

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there were friends who received similar fines, but no one ignored them and the fines are quite real. The consequences of ignoring them can be the same as any offense
With respect, unless one of your friends decided to just ignore and not pay the fine, how do you know what those consequences are?
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Within legal circles, it's widely understood that the low hanging fruit is being picked.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty, (with no aggravating factors, e.g. police don't claim you were verbally abusive etc), disputing it at all points /eventually going Not Guilty, even to the point of turning up to court for trial, virtually everybody finds the CPS discontinues the case on the day. People who don't turn up or enter guilty pleas are generally proceeded with and convicted.

I suspect there is a reluctance for the legality of these penalties to be tested on appeal for obvious reasons.
 

Hadders

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As I understand it you have two choices with a Fixed Penalty Notice:

1. Pay the appropriate fee and no further action is taken in respect of the issue (paying an FPN does not result in a criminal record)
2. Request the matter be dealt with in court. Clearly this has risks attached as if found guilty would normally result in a larger fine, costs and a criminal record

If you ignore the FPN then then after a set period of time the amount if usually increased. Whoever usually issued the FPN will normally seek to get it enforced via the Magistrates Court in the same way as if a fine had been imposed following conviction in a court.

There is a third way of dealing with a FPN and that is to get it withdrawn by the authority who issued it. This normally happens when an error has been made, for example the recent case of the Derbyshire Costa Coffee women.
 
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