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Trio ordered to pay over £1400 for PSPO breaches in Council first

11:00 am, Friday, 15th March 2024 - 1 month ago


Three men have been found guilty in court of breaking a range of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) across North East Lincolnshire and ordered to pay nearly £1500 in fines.

North East Lincolnshire Council introduced the PSPOs through the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act in 2014. The act gave local authorities the power to deal with nuisances or problems which harm the local community’s quality of life.

An order is intended to ensure that people can use and enjoy public spaces, living safely from anti-social behaviour. An order will specify an area where activities are taking place that are detrimental to the quality of life of those in the area and can impose conditions and restrictions on people using the specified area.

Breaking an order is a criminal offence, which can result in a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £100 or prosecution. If prosecuted, an individual could be fined up to £1,000.

North East Lincolnshire Council have a range of PSPOs currently in place, including a restriction on cycling in certain zones and fishing without the relevant permits in a number of open spaces.

In recent weeks, a number of people have failed to pay their FPN, meaning their offences have been dealt with in court.

With cases held at Grimsby Magistrates Court, three were found guilty:

  • Robert Atkins – Fishing
  • Michael Finnie – Dog on the beach
  • Kevin Pickerden – Slipway Misuse

In the case of Mr. Atkins, This was the first Fishing PSPO prosecution since the Resort PSPOs were created and the offence was witnessed at Cleethorpes Country Park in May 2023.

The order states that all anglers using Cleethorpes Country Park must have a valid permit purchased from the Tourist Information Centre at the Resort Hub, the appropriate rod licence issued by the Environment Agency, and be able to produce these on demand.

Mr. Atkins was unable to produce his rod licence when approached and also did not have a valid permit to fish at the Country Park.

The officer proceeded to issue a fixed penalty notice of £100 for the offence, which remained unpaid despite reminder letters and lead to prosecution. He did not attend court, but the order was made in his absence. He was made to pay a total cost of £534.04 comprising of the original fine, costs and a victim surcharge.

Another one of the PSPOs states that dogs are not allowed on the beach from Wonderland Groyne to Cleethorpes Leisure Centre from Good Friday to 30th  September each year.

Mr. Finnie was witnessed by an enforcement officer walking their dog on the North Promenade, Cleethorpes in June 2023.

The individual was made aware of the offence and a fixed penalty notice of £100 was issued. The individual did not pay the FPN despite a reminder letter and so lead to prosecution.

Pleading guilty in court, he was ordered to pay a total of £440.04, made up of a £153 fine, £61 surcharge and £226.04 in costs.

In another first, the slipway PSPO prohibits any vehicle from parking on the Pier Slipway outside of the resort’s slipway regulations. It states that launch vehicles i.e. cars and vans are not permitted to be parked on any part of the slipway after the initial launch of the craft.

The registration of a vehicle was recorded as being parked on the slipway on two occasions in June 2023. On the second occasion, the family associated with the vehicle was approached by an enforcement officer and the offence was explained. The person responsible for the vehicle was witnessed a significant distance into the estuary on the jet ski.

The person responsible for the vehicle had signed and agreed to the resorts slipway regulations prior to being afforded a permit to jet ski, so was aware of these regulations.

A fixed penalty notice of £100 was issued. The individual did not pay the FPN despite a reminder letter and so lead to prosecution. Appearing in court and pleading guilty, he was also fined £440.04, made up of a £153 fine, £61 surcharge and £226.04 in costs.

Speaking about the success, Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, Councillor Ron Shepherd, said: “These PSPOs are there for a reason. Not because we want to put them in place or to cause a nuisance, but to ensure the safety of the borough.

“These people have not followed the rules and for that they have been rightly punished. Others need to be made aware that we will not simply look the other way, those breaking these PSPOs will face repercussions.”

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