Report online or call us on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

Download the Ask The Police app from the following app stores:

Get it on iTunes Get it on Google Play

A fixed penalty notice is a conditional offer to an alleged offender for them to have the matter dealt with in a set way without resorting to going to court. It is conditional in that the offence committed falls within the remit of the fixed penalty system and that the alleged offender fits the criteria i.e. would not be liable to disqualification under totting up procedures and is willing to surrender their licence if the matter is endorsable.

The acceptance of the ticket gives the alleged offender options and if they feel that for any reason either then or at a later stage that they wish to contest the matter, they can by completing the requisite parts of the form to request a court hearing.

The fact that the time and date may be wrong is not necessarily a bar to proceedings continuing and it would be for the court to decide if those matters seriously affected the alleged offender's right to a fair hearing.

It may also be worth writing to the appropriate office (details on back of ticket) setting out the reasons why you think the ticket should be made void prior to you officially challenging it. If the ticket has been given out by the local authority and you are not happy with their reply then there is an ombudsman who will review such cases.

It is also important to note that even if it is found that the ticket is invalid then this does not mean an end to the matter. All it means is that, if appropriate, the police can proceed by issuing a summons for court. The alleged offender will not then be able to take advantage of the fixed penalty system and if found guilty at court will have a criminal conviction. It is advisable to take legal advice from a lawyer prior to making any decision on this matter.

Current rating

1 2 3 4 5

Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.