PCC's dismay at £10,000 super fines being reduced at court

A police chief has spoken of his anger and dismay at officers being told to hand out £10,000 fines to Covid rule-breakers, only for them to be reduced to mere hundreds of pounds by the courts.

David Jamieson
David Jamieson

Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands David Jamieson said he thought it was "extraordinary" that the police should hand out large fines, and then have to tell people that their next step is to go to court so the fine can be reduced.

Mr Jamieson said last weekend the force was told to stop issuing the £10,000 'super fines' – given to those who organised events with more than 30 people in them.

But only a few days later the Government gave out new instructions, telling officers to hand out the fines but let people know that they could appeal and receive a reduced fine at court.

He said: "There has been discussion over the last week about the super fines, the £10,000 fines for those who are organising events with more than 30 people in them, which are of course a major contributor to the spread of Covid.

"We have taken in the West Midlands very firm action on this, action that I am very pleased about.

"However last weekend we were told to desist giving those fines, because the word fixed in fixed penalty appears not to be the case and if people go to court they can get a substantially lower fine which may actually lead to hundreds of pounds rather than £10,000.

"A few days later we had a further instruction to carry on issuing them, but actually when we issue them to tell people that they can appeal against them and that it's not a real fine at all really.

"It's extraordinary that the government are saying that the police should tell people that the next step is to actually not worry about it and they can reduce their fine by going to court.

"I am very angry that police have been compromised by this, it puts them in an extraordinary position. And with the utmost dismay I look at the way this legislation is flawed."

Mr Jamieson has said he has written to the Government about the matter.

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