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Instead of prosecuting those who commit an array of offenses labeled as anti-social behavior, fixed penalty notices and penalty notices for disorder are issued.

Both penalties range from 50 to 80 pounds for most offenses and do not count as getting a conviction, in other words: no criminal record. However, those who don’t pay could face a higher fine imposed by the court or imprisonment, according to the British Home Office Web site, www.homeoffice.gov.uk.

A fixed penalty notice (FPN) tends to deal with environmental offenses, such as littering, excessive noise, minor graffiti and not picking up your dog’s waste in public areas, the Web site said.

For more serious offenses, such as selling alcohol to minors or being drunk and disorderly, a penalty notice for disorder (PND) can be imposed, the Web site said.

PNDs are given to offenders older than 16, while someone as young as 10 can receive a FPN.

Speeding is a common offense for which a driver can get a FPN. And for visiting U.S. military troops, the process in dealing with a speeding fine is a tad different compared to U.K. drivers.

If caught speeding, a court summons is given to U.S. troops by the Ministry of Defense police. Depending on their speed, servicemembers do not have to attend court, though. They have four choices: plead guilty or not guilty by post, or plead guilty or not guilty in court, according to MOD Constable Paul Glover.

Those who decide to attend court to contest the fine can receive a fine up to 1,000 pounds and six penalty points endorsed on their license.

The penalty for speeding is usually a 60-pound fine, plus a 15-pound victim support cost and three points endorsed on an U.K. license. U.S. troops typically have a 3rd Air Force drivers permit instead of a British license.

The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency has to create a license for the offending U.S. servicemember, which is then endorsed with the three points. If 12 points are accrued within three years, the holder will lose their license, according to Glover.

Got a question about something you’ve seen or heard around the United Kingdom? E-mail us at: uknews@estripes.osd.mil.


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