Enforcement policy

Types of action

Fixed penalty notice 

Certain offences are subject to Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) where permitted in legislation. FPNs are recognised as a low level enforcement tool. Paying fixed penalty notices within the permitted timescale gives the offender the opportunity to discharges the offence committed and does not result in a criminal conviction. Failure to discharge liability for the offence by payment of the fixed penalty notices may result in a prosecution.

Formal notice

Certain legislation allows notices to be served requiring offenders to take specific action or cease certain activities. The time period stated on the notice will be reasonable. 

Certain types of notice allow works in default to be carried out. This means if the notice is not complied with (known as a breach of notice) we may carry out the necessary works to satisfy the requirements of the notice ourselves. Where the law allows, we will normally recover our costs from the person /business served with the notice, through the Courts if necessary. Sometimes costs are recovered via a charge on the property. Every formal notice will be issued with clear guidance on your rights of appeal.


Certain legislation enables authorised officers to seize goods, equipment or documents. We can also seize goods that may be required as evidence for possible future court proceedings. If we seize goods we will give the person /business from whom the goods are taken a receipt.

Refusal, suspension and revocation of a licence

Certain individuals, premises, and / or businesses require a licence to operate legally. Licences may be refused, suspended or revoked following consideration with authorised supervisors / management. We will follow appropriate procedures and consideration of all relevant evidence and have regard to relevant guidance.

Simple Caution 

The ‘Simple Caution’, may be used as an alternative to Prosecution. It is an admission of guilt, but is not a form of sentence, nor is it a criminal conviction. The aims of a simple caution are:

  • To offer a proportionate response to low level offending where the offender has admitted the offence;
  • To deliver swift, simple, and effective justice that carries a deterrent effect.
  • To record an individual’s offences for reference in future formal action.
  • To reduce the likelihood of re-offending;
  • To increase the amount of time officers spend dealing with more serious offences and reduce the amount of time officers spend completing paperwork and attending court, whilst simultaneously reducing the burden on the courts.

For a Simple Caution to be issued a number of criteria must be satisfied:

  • Sufficient evidence must be available to prove the case
  • The offender must admit the offence
  • It must be in the public interest to use a Simple Caution
  • The offender must be 18 years old or over

The offender should not have received a simple caution for a similar offence within the last 2 years.The investigating officer in agreement with the delegated departmentalmanager or supervisor will determine if a Simple Caution is the mostappropriate form of sanction having regard to the recommendations from thecase meeting. The individual or company concerned will be advised of thedecision and requested to confirm acceptance. The ‘cautioning officer’ foroffences will be the delegated Senior staff member. A record of the Simple Caution will be kept on file for 2 years. If the offender commits a further offence, the Simple Caution may influence our decision to proceed to prosecution. If during the time the Caution is in force the offender pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, committing another offence anywhere in England and Wales the caution may be cited in the court, and this may influence the severity of the sentence that the court imposes.