Offences where a penalty notice can be issued
You can get a penalty notice for certain offences.
|indecent behaviour (only for urination in the street)||£40.00 (plus a £5.00 offender levy)|
|drunk in a public place||£40.00 (plus a £5.00 offender levy)|
|disorderly behaviour||£80.00 (plus a £5.00 offender levy)|
|behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace||£80.00 (plus a £5.00 offender levy)|
|obstructing police||£80.00 (plus a £5.00 offender levy)|
|criminal damage (up to a value of £200)||£80.00 (plus a £5.00 offender levy)|
|theft (shoplifting up to a value of £100)*||£80.00 (plus a £5.00 offender levy)|
*where the stolen goods have been recovered and are still in a good enough condition to be resold, or the retailer has been compensated.
If you are offered a penalty notice
If you accept a penalty notice you must either pay the full amount or ask that the matter be heard by a court within 28 days of the date of issue. The penalty notice explains how to pay the penalty or ask for a court hearing.
If you accept a penalty notice but don't pay the penalty or request a court hearing within the 28 day period, the penalty increases by 50 per cent to £60.00 or £120.00. A court will also be involved to enforce the penalty notice as if it were a fine imposed by that court. The £5.00 offender levy will not increase, but you still need to pay it.
If you decline the offer of a penalty notice, the police officer can take other action, including prosecution.
Penalty notices and criminal record checks
Payment of a penalty notice does not require an admission of guilt and will not result in a criminal record.
A record that you have been issued with a penalty notice will be kept, and that information may be used to decide if you are eligible to receive another penalty notice in the future. The penalty notice provides an opportunity for first time and non-habitual offenders to avoid court and a possible criminal record. It will not be available to someone who repeatedly offends.
Penalty notices are recorded on the police computer system and may be disclosed as part of an enhanced disclosure issued by AccessNI.