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Sanctions Available to the Council

Prosecution via the court system - The Local Government Act 1972, gives the Council power to take Criminal enforcement actions as necessary to secure compliance with legislation. Ancillary powers are also given to Local Authorities through various legislations contained within this policy, including civil enforcement.

 

The use of the criminal process to institute a prosecution is an important part of enforcement. It aims to punish wrongdoing, to avoid a recurrence and to act as a deterrent to others.

The Council and its officers will consider relevant factors in deciding whether or not to prosecute. These include, for example: -

 

  • the environmental effect of the offence;

  • the impact on public health and safety;

  • the foreseeability of the offence or the circumstances leading to it;

  • the intent of the offender, individually and/or corporately;

  • the history of offending;

  • the attitude of the offender;

  • the deterrent effect of a prosecution, on the offender and others;

  • the personal circumstances of the offender;

the alternative of a fixed penalty charge, where available.

The factors are not exhaustive and those that apply will depend on the particular circumstances of each case. Deciding on the public interest is not simply a matter of adding up the number of factors on each side. The Council will decide how important each factor is in the circumstances of each case and go on to make an overall assessment.

 

 

Criminal Penalties Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Administrative Penalty) - Under Regulation 11 of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Detection of Fraud & Enforcement) Regulations 2013, a billing authority to invite a person to agree to pay a penalty as an alternative to prosecution for an offence relating to the award of a reduction under a Council Tax Reduction Scheme which a person was not entitled too, or an offence relating to an act or omission which could have resulted in such an award.

The amount of the penalty is to be 50% of the amount of the excess reduction, to a maximum of £1000.

 

Civil Penalties Council Tax Reduction Scheme - Under Regulation 12 & 13 of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Detection of Fraud & Enforcement) Regulations 2013, a billing authority can impose a penalty of £70 on a person in circumstances where a person negligently:

  • makes an incorrect statement in connection with an application for a reduction under a Council Tax Reduction Scheme or

  • where a person fails to notify a change in circumstances when required to do so under a scheme.

 

Civil Penalties for Council Tax - Schedule 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 allows Councils to impose a civil penalty of £70 If a council taxpayer without reasonable excuse:

  • fails to notify the authority on a matter which affects entitlement to a discount or

  • fails to notify that their dwelling is no longer an exempt dwelling

  • fails to notify the authority that they are jointly liable for the tax or

  • fails to supply relevant information requested in order to establish liability or

  • fails to supply relevant information requested after the issue of a liability order has been obtained.

 

Internal Disciplinary Procedures

Members - Any information concerning suspected fraud or corruption involving an Elected Member must be referred to the Monitoring Officer, who will decide upon the most appropriate method of investigation.

Published: 10 Nov 2016
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