Committee calls for comprehensive review of coronavirus (COVID-19) FPNs

Committee calls for comprehensive review of coronavirus (COVID-19) FPNs

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has published a report arguing that coronavirus (COVID-19) fixed penalty notices (FPNs) are ‘muddled, discriminatory and unfair’. The report sets out various concerns relating to the use and validity of FPNs, and calls for a comprehensive review of all issued FPNs, the creation of a mechanism with which to challenge new FPNs, a decision that coronavirus FPNs should not result in a criminal record, and an assessment of income for the issuing of FPNs with large fines. Coronavirus FPNs involve the issuing of a fine of between £200 and £10,000 for failures to follow coronavirus rules set out in legislation. They also allow people to avoid facing prosecution and a potential criminal record.

The report follows a review of prosecutions brought under coronavirus Regulations that reached open court in February 2021 by the Crown Prosecution Service, which found that 27% had been incorrectly charged. As of yet, there is currently no adequate mechanism by which people can seek a review of their FPN other than through the process of a criminal prosecution, which the Committee believes increases the risk that human right breaches will not be subsequently remedied.

The Committee’s press release can be found here.

Source: The Government response to covid-19: fixed penalty notices

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