4.5 Criminal Law

The offences that we cover as environmental enforcement officers are criminal. There may be times where offenders state it is only a civil offence. Its incorrect, any offence between the state and an individual is criminal law. To secure a prosecution in criminal law, it requires beyond reasonable doubt to be proved. Anyone who decides they do not want to pay the fixed penalty or choses to have a case heard in court will be heard in a criminal court. This is usually heard in the magistrate’s court and if a trial goes ahead then officers will be required to attend court to give evidence. We only issue fixed penalties when we are 100% sure an offence has occurred and are willing to progress to court with it. The fixed penalty notice is a chance for offenders to discharge liability, they do not have to pay the notice legally and can always have their case heard by a magistrate.