Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
An earlier FOI reply from Wirral BC states that Kingdom are not authorised to issue double penalty notices in respect of smoking offences. Despite this, there are continued reports on social media of this happening, so please confirm -
Kingdom have been formally instructed not to issue double penalties.
If double penalties are issued, one will automatically be cancelled once brought to your attention.
Are the Kingdom Admin. team embedded within the Council fully aware of this?
As this is contrary to instructions, so technically fraud, will there be sanctions against Kingdom/ Kingdom staff if this persists?
Are there plans to check previous FPN's to ensure that nobody has been penalised twice, as most members of the public would be unaware of this, and allegedly, Kingdom staff are telling alleged offenders that they are able to double ticket. Simple check of name v date and time should highlight these.
If double ticketing is discovered, please confirm that Kingdom will NOT be paid for the duplicate FPN.
There also appears to be doubt about the validity of many of the 'smoking in van' FPN's as it is only an offence if the vehicle is used by more than one employee, and smoking is permitted if employer agrees. What checks are Kingdom instructed to undertake prior to issuing an FPN for this offence?
If an FPN has been found to be incorrectly issued for the reasons above, please confirm whether it will automatically be cancelled, and Kingdom will NOT be paid for the incorrectly issued FPN.

Yours faithfully,

John Chapman

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Chapman

We write further to your Freedom of Information request in which you
asked:

An earlier FOI reply from Wirral BC states that Kingdom are not authorised
to issue double penalty notices in respect of smoking offences. Despite
this, there are continued reports on social media of this happening, so
please confirm -

Kingdom have been formally instructed not to issue double penalties.

If double penalties are issued, one will automatically be cancelled once
brought to your attention.

If double penalties are issued, one will automatically be cancelled once
brought to your attention.

Are the Kingdom Admin. team embedded within the Council fully aware of
this?

As this is contrary to instructions, so technically fraud, will there be
sanctions against Kingdom/ Kingdom staff if this persists?

Are there plans to check previous FPN's to ensure that nobody has been
penalised twice, as most members of the public would be unaware of this,
and allegedly, Kingdom staff are telling alleged offenders that they are
able to double ticket. Simple check of name v date and time should
highlight these.

If double ticketing is discovered, please confirm that Kingdom will NOT be
paid for the duplicate FPN.

 

Response: Fixed Penalty Notices have a unique bar code that cannot
duplicated, therefore it is not possible to issue twice.

There also appears to be doubt about the validity of many of the 'smoking
in van' FPN's as it is only an offence if the vehicle is used by more than
one employee, and smoking is permitted if employer agrees.

Response: Regulations relating to smoking in company vehicles came into
force on 1 July 2007. The position is that:

o enclosed vehicles which one or more persons use for work will be
no-smoking premises and covered by the ban. The ban applies to cars,
vans and lorries at all times if they can be used by one or more
persons, as driver or passenger, in the course of paid or voluntary
work – regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time;

Companies have a duty to prevent smoking in smoke free vehicles. The
penalty for not doing this is a maximum fine of £2,500 on conviction.
Compliance requires that the company take reasonable steps, which in
addition to displaying signs as above might include:

o removing ashtrays;
o introducing a smoke free policy;
o training staff to understand the new law and their responsibilities
under it – individuals caught breaking the law can be issued with a
fixed penalty notice of £50, reduced to £30 if paid within 15 days, or
a maximum fine of £200 on conviction.

Please note that where an FPN is issued for smoking within a company
vehicle and the alleged offender also discards the cigarette butt out of
the window, a second FPN may be issued for a littering offence. This would
not be double ticketing as the FPNs relate to two separate offences.

We trust this answers your enquiry.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Business Management

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

 

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[2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

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