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Whats the difference


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Hi there, sorry if this has been covered before, but is there any difference between a Penalty Charge Notice, as Issued by Council Wardens, and an actual Fixed Penalty Notice issued by the Police and Traffic Wardens.


Do any of the issues with PCN's apply to Fixed Penalty Notice's, i.e. Date of issue and date of offence?


If there are differences, perhaps someone could explain as I could see people (including myself!) getting confused.

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They are totally different things.


An FPN can only be issued by a police officer or police traffic warden. The matter of dates etc. does not apply as you can write to elect for trial at a Magistrates' Court. If you do, you will be summonsed and have to take your case to the Magistrates. If you do nothing, the fine will be enforced as though awarded by the court. The FPN is simply a way to accept guilt and pay a fixed penaltyeithout having to go to Court. If there is a mistake in an FPN, it matters little (unless it is material) as the prosecution only have to produce a factual and convincing evidence to the magistrates. Am FPN can be posted out. As the RK, you can dob in the driver to take the fall


A PCN is issued by a council (or their contractors - this bit is currently being challenged). There are strict rukes as to the information that is required on the ticket. The ticket must be affixed to the vehicle or handed to the driver (although there is a trial in parts of London to enforce other traffic laws via CCTV and these tickets may be sent out). The RK is ultimately responsible for payment, regardless of whether he/she was driving. There is an appeals process that ends with PATAS or NPAS adjudicators - who are not judges but appointed solicitors usually. Failure to pay a PCN will ultimately lead to County Court debt enforcement.


That all signs (including road markings) must be present and lawful is the same for both FPN and PCN

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