Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The current Guidelines set out an approach to calculating fines that works fairly well, in my experience. Broadly, fines are set at Level A,B, or C, which relate to a multiple of the Relevant Weekly Income. That is either the actual weekly take-home, or an assessed amount of £100 for those on benefit, which takes rough account of other benefits such as housing and council tax benefits, or £350 for those who don't tell us anything. It's an inexact science, because the court has neither the time nor the resources to do any better. Rough justice, then.
There are also Bands D and E (they are on page 151 of the Guidelines). We rarely use these, but we did make use of a Band D a few weeks ago. A young man had committed a drink-drive at the kind of level that would attract a medium-upper community penalty, but there was a problem with using unpaid work or a curfew because he is a mechanic in the RAF and may well be off to a hot and dusty place in the New Year, or possibly sooner. So we fined him Band D; that came to nearly £700 with costs; we banned him for the appropriate period and sent him on his way. The officer who came with him told us that the RAF will apply its own sanctions as the Service takes a dim view of its members getting into trouble in civilian courts.
So the D and E fines have their uses, but we won't be using them very often.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Posts are pre-moderated. Please bear with us if this takes a little time, but the number of bores and obsessives was getting out of hand, as were the fake comments advertising rubbish.