Appealing against a fixed penalty notice

Can I appeal against a fixed penalty notice I have been issued?

There are no formal grounds of appeal against a fixed penalty notice.  This is because a fixed penalty notice is an invitation for you to effectively "buy off" your liability to prosecution.  In essence this means that whilst this is not an admission of guilt, you agree that an offence has been committed and that by paying the sum of money specified no further action will be undertaken by the council.  This method of dealing with offences not only saves the time involved for everyone (including the offender) in prosecuting cases at court, but the cost associated with  a fixed penalty notice is likely to be substantially lower than any fine imposed by the courts.  For example the maximum penalty which can be imposed by the courts for littering is £2,500.

What if I don't agree that I committed the offence?

If you do not agree that you have committed the offence for which you have received a fixed penalty notice then the matter will be dealt with through formal prosecution via the courts.  It will then be up to the court, on receiving evidence, to determine whether or not an offence was committed and therefore whether or not any penalty should be imposed.  Effectively this means that the formal court route becomes the mechanism for those wishing to appeal a fixed penalty notice.  It should be noted that the financial penalty imposed by the courts can be significantly greater than that which is imposed through a fixed penalty notice.