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Enforcement firm rakes in £80,000 in fines for unauthorised cycling in Peterborough

Council planning to set up its own company to collect the fines

Over a thousand people have been fined for cycling in Peterborough since the introduction of a city centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) last year. The enforcement firm patrolling the area, Kingdom, will keep the £80,540 collected as part of its contract with the city council.

The fines were collected from 1,119 cyclists between June 12, 2017, when the Kingdom contract began, and June 30, 2018. We previously reported that almost 915 were fined within the first three months, but that figure is not directly comparable as not all of those were necessarily collected.

The PSPO sees fixed penalty notices issue for a series of offences. As well as unauthorised cycling in certain areas, they are issued for littering, dog fouling, spitting, failure to disperse, cycle dismount, urination and defecation.

A freedom of information request by Peterborough Today revealed that, 5,715 fines were collected worth £419,505.

£284,485 of that came from littering with £1,420 from ‘cycle dismount’. You’ll no doubt be interested to hear that there was a single fine for defecation too. (There is a theory here at that the person responsible decided against riding to get to the nearest loo on the grounds that the cost of taking immediate action to resolve their situation was exactly the same.)

Council leader John Holdich, who pushed for the PSPOs to be introduced, said: “It’s working, it’s tidying the city up. Now we want to spread it across Peterborough.”

He added: “Now we know that it works and how it works, we can set up our own company to do it, but the money collected will be ploughed into services.”

PSPOs remain controversial. Duncan Dollimore of Cycling UK has equated them to geographically defined ASBOs and expressed incredulity that they are being used to "restrict the use of public space and criminalise behaviour not normally regarded as illegal... [like] the pernicious pastime which undermines the very fabric of our society: cycling."

Two cyclists travelling through Peterborough on their journey from Southend to Bridlington said they considered the fines unfair after being stopped while riding their bikes down Bridge Street.

Writing to Peterborough Today, Mark Booker described the circumstances: “After several diversions, we find the centre of Peterborough, walk over a pedestrian crossing following a marked cycle path. Get back on our bikes, going at walking pace as we are looking for somewhere to park our bikes and bottoms.

“We are approached by two policemen – that’s what they look like anyway – who take down our details and fine us £80 each for cycling where we shouldn't be cycling. No discount for prompt payment.

“Going back to the street furniture by the pedestrian crossing, there was indeed a no-cycling sign. Right above the sign for the cycle path which we had honed in on.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 5 years ago

brooksby wrote:

burtthebike wrote:

lllnorrislll wrote:
john1967 wrote:

Im confused..What details do i have to give to anyone who isnt a police officer ???

A quick search comes up with this - Which would indicate that they can detain for 30 mins till the police arrive. Also can fine children 10+ !!!

"Accidental littering

Don’t issue FPNs for accidental littering, for example if something falls from someone’s pocket.

Only issue FPNs where there is evidence of intent to drop litter.

Give offenders the chance to pick up litter before you issue an FPN. Warn them that you will issue an FPN if they don’t."

So you don't get fined if the littering is accidental, but you will be fined for accidentally missing a no cycling sign on a council defined cycle route?

"A police community support officer (PCSO) can detain the offender for up to 30 minutes before a police constable arrives."

Are these contractors PCSOs?  If not, apparently they can't detain you.  If they did try to detain you, would they be breaking the law?

They're NOT PCSOs.  If they were, they'd be PCSOs.  At best, they're roughly equivalent to a traffic warden or a street cleaner or any other council employee.  Pretty certain no powers of arrest, and if they attempted to then it'd be unlawful (and you could call the police on them, which would be hilarious).

Bristol brought them in around last Christmas.  Lots of fuss in the local papers about them because they carry body cameras to justify their actions, but then won't/can't review the footage there and then (someone complained, said they'd been wrongly fined - I think they'd been accused of dropped cigarette butts excet they didn't smoke and claimed it couldn't be them - they asked to check their footage, and Kingdom told them they couldn't and that they'd have to go to head office...).

(My personal gripe is also how they look like bl**dy paramilitaries, with heavy black boots, black fatigues, etc).

I think the ones in Bristol are great. They hang around waiting to pounce on the smokers who think they have a right to just litter the streets.

Hirsute replied to john1967 | 5 years ago

[quote=john1967]<p>Im confused..What details do i have to give to anyone who isnt a police officer ???</p>[/quote]

Talks about authorised persons, so perhaps if you refuse and are then faced with a larger court fine.

BehindTheBikesheds replied to john1967 | 5 years ago

john1967 wrote:

Im confused..What details do i have to give to anyone who isnt a police officer ???

the police are there to keep the peace, if they are acting on their sworn oath they cannot show favour to others by allowing them to transit from one place to another along the highway going about their normal business without stopping them also (if you have not posed harm to another)

Given the number of pedestrians that are at fault for their deaths when involved in pedestrian/person on a bike incidents it would be impossible for a court to prove that you on a bike poses more threat to a pedestrian than they do to themselves. And if you were not actually directly putting anyone at risk of harm then no law has been broken.

An ACT of parliament threatening penalty is not a law, it has no basis to be used and indeed as cycling uk and others have said (in the past) the rules in Peterborough and elsewhere with respect to space protection orders have been broken in any case and have gone beyond the remit.

I wouldn't give my details, it is not an arrestable offence. If they grab you, that is an assault, simply say that you have assaulted me which is aa breach of the peace and that you are feeling fear, alarm and distress and thus wish to extracate yourself from the person so that they do not assault you again. Ride off.

burtthebike replied to john1967 | 5 years ago
1 like

john1967 wrote:

Im confused..What details do i have to give to anyone who isnt a police officer ???

I'm not sure what details you have to give a police officer.

hawkinspeter | 5 years ago

Why can't the same enforcement company be used to deal with motorists using mobiles, speeding, parking inconsiderately etc.?

vonhelmet replied to hawkinspeter | 5 years ago

hawkinspeter wrote:

Why can't the same enforcement company be used to deal with motorists using mobiles, speeding, parking inconsiderately etc.?

Too much like real work.

Hirsute | 5 years ago

Should have gone to the pepipoo forums for that ambiguous signage.

Brightspark | 5 years ago
1 like

Actually this might be a good idea...if it is applied properly.

Judgeing by the drop off in fines for cyclists this seems to have been effective. 

I wonder that if this was rolled out more widely then it would change the attitude of those bad cyclists who tarnish our reputation and maybe after a little bit of fallout aide the change in public perception that we need.

Although unfair to put a no cycling sign on a cycle path, its not unusual. (See cycling facility of the month) Perhaps victims of such a sting should complain to the local authority to have the confusing signage pulled down.

Beecho replied to Brightspark | 5 years ago

Brightspark wrote:

Judgeing by the drop off in fines for cyclists this seems to have been effective. 

In discouraging people from cycling?

don simon fbpe | 5 years ago

Is if I needed another reason to stay away from there.



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