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Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 23:34 GMT
Police plan to fine yobs
Football fans celebrate in a fountain
Drunken behaviour could result in a fine
Drunken yobs will be the target of fixed penalty fines in a project aimed at cracking down on litter bugs and low level nuisance.

West Midlands Police is one of several forces across the country to be trialling the scheme, which will allow officers to issue on-the-spot fines of between 50-100 for loutish behaviour.

It is hoped the project will reduce the amount of time officers currently spend dealing with minor offences, and serve as a deterrent to potential offenders.

It is mixing up criminal law and civil law because the standard of proof required will be lower

Roger Bingham, Liberty
The Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) are involved in the scheme.

ACPO expressed reservations last year about Prime Minister Tony Blair's suggestion that yobs should be marched to cashpoints and fined 100.

A West Midlands Police spokeswoman confirmed the force would be taking part in the trial.


"We will be one of several forces across the country to pilot this scheme," she said.

"It is still at its consultative stage, with the Home Office, ACPO and other partners.

"This scheme will tackle low level nuisance to dropping litter."

But civil rights campaigners say there would be practical difficulties in enforcing the scheme.

Roger Bingham, spokesman for pressure group Liberty, said: "It is mixing up criminal law and civil law because the standard of proof required will be lower.

"It is convenient, but not necessarily just. I think it will be difficult for officers to put into practice because of how you determine the standard of proof needed for a conviction."

See also:

03 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Blair backs down on fining 'louts'
02 Jul 00 | UK Politics
'Thug pubs' targeted
01 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Police concern at yob fines
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