Pavement injustice

Jim O’Reilly, April 10th 2012


A new campaign is being launched to fight “pavement injustice” across the UK - the practice of on-the-spot punishments for a range of offences in Britain’s public spaces, from leafleting to feeding the ducks. The Manifesto Club, a London-based campaign group, wants to take on “unaccountable officials” who have the power to issue fines for a host of activities, without ever setting foot in a court room.

The organisation claims that “on-the-spot fines have been running at around 200,000 a year since they were introduced in 2004. Now ‘out of court’ punishments make up nearly half of all offences ‘brought to justice’”.

Criminal offences like causing “harassment, alarm and distress”, for example, or “disorderly behaviour while drunk”, are now often dealt with like a parking ticket, rather than in a court room.

As part of the campaign, they’re encouraging people who have received on-the-spot fines that they feel are unjust to contact them. Manifesto Club legal advisors can help you to challenge the fine, publicise the case, and include it in their research into this practice. They are also asking that anyone stopped in public and fined by an official to contact them - as they intend to make these people accountable for their actions.

At The Pavement, we want to encourage readers to get in touch if they’ve had an experience with an on-the-spot fine they felt was unjust - and we’ll be following the Manifesto Club campaign over the next few months.

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