Shropshire Council

Fixed penalty notices

What is a fixed penalty notice (FPN)?

A penalty issued by an officer in respect of environmental crimes. These notices provide a quick, visible and effective way of dealing with low-level crime. An FPN is not classed as a fine, but is a penalty that allows the offender to discharge their liability for conviction for the offence that has been witnessed.

How much is a FPN?

£50 if paid within ten days of issue, £75 if not.

Do offenders have to pay immediately?

No. You have 14 days to pay to avoid a higher fine in court.

Do we fine young people?

The fine only applies to those 16 and over. Anyone younger will be given a warning notice and a letter will be sent to their parents/legal guardian. If they are obstructive, evasive or aggressive towards the officer, legal action may be taken.

What happens if someone refuses to give their details to an authorised officer?

It's an offence to fail to give your name, or give a false address, to an authorised officer when asked, and you could be prosecuted for failing to give these details.

What happens when an FPN is paid?

Payment means that no further action will be taken for that particular offence. It doesn't constitue an admission of guilt, but does mean you avoid being prosecuted for the offence, which would potentially involve a larger penalty and criminal record.

What happens if I refuse to pay?

We will refer the matter to the courts for prosecution.

How do I pay?

You can pay online or over the phone on 0345 678 9006. You can also pay by cash, card or cheque at any customer service point, or by posting a cheque (along with the payment slip) to the address shown on the FPN.

Can I appeal?

There are no formal grounds of appeal. This is because an FPN is an invitation for you to effectively 'buy off' your liability to prosecution. This means that while this is not an admission of guilt, you agree that an offence has been committed and that by paying off the sum of money specified, no further action will be undertaken by us. This method of dealing with offences saves time for everyone involved in prosecuting cases in court. The cost associated with an FPN is likely to be substantially lower than any fine imposed by the courts. For example, the maximum penalty that can be imposed by the courts for littering is £2500.

But I don't agree that I committed an offence

There's no obligation for us to offer an appeals process to someone who may want to dispute an FPN. However, it's recognised that there will be times when someone who receives an FPN will want to question it and may have legitimate grounds for contesting it. In such circumstances, the recipient should write (including FPN reference number) to: Environmental Enforcement Team manager, Public Protection, Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY2 6ND. Any such challenge must be made within 14 days of the issue of ther FPN. Only one appeal will be considered against any FPN.