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Anti-social behaviour

Penalty notices

Fixed penalty notices and penalty notices for disorder are both one-off fines issued for anti-social behaviour.

Fixed penalty notices

Fixed penalty notices generally deal with environmental offences such as litter, graffiti and dog fouling, and can be issued by local authority officers and police community support officers. 

These notices can be issued to anyone over 10 years old.

Offences where a notice might be issued

Examples of offences for which a notice might be issued are:

  • littering
  • graffitiing or fly posting   
  • causing so much loud and annoying noise that your neighbours complain

Penalty notices are not the same as criminal convictions.  However, failure to pay your fine may result in higher fines or imprisonment.

Penalty notices for disorder

Penalty notices for disorder are issued for more serious offences, such as throwing fireworks or being drunk and disorderly. These notices can be issued to anyone over 16 years old.

They were introduced to address low-level anti-social behaviour, while also reducing police bureaucracy and paperwork.

Offences where a notice might be issued

Examples of offences where a penalty notice for disorder may be issued include:

  • intentionally harassing or scaring people
  • being drunk and disorderly in public
  • destroying or damaging property
  • petty shoplifting
  • selling alcohol to underage customers
  • selling alcohol to somebody who is obviously drunk
  • using fireworks after curfew

Penalty notices are not the same as criminal convictions.  However, failure to pay your fine may result in higher fines, or imprisonment.

See also

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