General Enforcement Policy

6. Decisions on enforcement action

These factors are not listed in order of significance. The rating of the various factors will vary with each situation under consideration.

  1. There are a range of actions that are available to the Council which are set out in legislation.
  2. For the purposes of this policy, formal enforcement action, includes (see Appendix C):
    • Compliance Advice, Guidance and Support;
    • Voluntary Undertakings;
    • Statutory (Legal) Notices;
    • Financial penalties;
    • Injunctive Actions / Enforcement Orders etc;
    • Simple Caution;
    • Prosecution; and
    • Refusal / Suspension / Revocation of Licences
  3. Alleged offenders and witnesses will be informed of the progress of investigations.

How decision are made on enforcement action

  1.  Where formal enforcement action is necessary, the most appropriate course of action (from the range of sanctions and penalties available) will be considered with the intention of:
    • protecting public safety
    • protecting the environment and animal etc welfare
    • changing the behaviour of the offender
    • eliminating any financial gain or benefit from non-compliance
    • being responsive and considering what is appropriate for the particular offender and issue involved, including punishment and the public stigma that may be associated with a criminal conviction
    • being proportionate to the nature of the offence and harm caused
    • restoring the harm caused by non-compliance
    • deterring future non-compliance.
  2. Where the responsible person has failed to respond once a breach of legislation has been brought to their attention or the breach is so severe as to present an imminent risk, it is very likely that formal action will be initiated.
  3. Before instigating legal proceedings service will consider a number of factors, including:
    • The seriousness of the alleged offence
    • The history of the party concerned
    • The willingness of the business or the individual to prevent a recurrence  of the problem and to co-operate with officers
    • Whether it is in the public interest to prosecute
    • Whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction
    • Whether any other action (including other means of formal enforcement action) would be more appropriate or effective
    • The views of any complainant and other persons with an interest in prosecution.
  4. These factors are NOT listed in order of significance. The rating of the various factors will vary with each situation under consideration.
  5.  Where appropriate there will be cooperation and coordination with any relevant regulatory body and/or enforcement agency to maximise the effectiveness of any enforcement.
  6. Where an enforcement matter affects a wide geographical area beyond the Borough boundaries, or involves enforcement by one or more other local authorities or organisations; where appropriate all relevant authorities and organisations will be informed of the matter as soon as possible and all enforcement activity coordinated with them.
  7. Where the law allows regulation and enforcement will share intelligence relating to wider regulatory matters with other regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies, including::
    • Government Agencies.
    • Police Forces.
    • Fire Authorities.
    • Statutory undertakers.
    • Other Local Authorities.
  8. When a decision to take enforcement action against you and:
  • you are a business operating in more than one Local Authority area and you have chosen to have a registered Primary Authority  Partnership under The Regulator Enforcement Sanctions Act 2008 (The RES Act); and
  • the enforcement action proposed is covered by the definition of enforcement action for the purposes of Part 2 of the RES Act

the Council will comply with the agreement provisions for enforcement and notify your Primary Authority of the proposed action. Your Primary Authority has the right to object to the Council’s proposed action in which circumstances either they or the Council may refer the matter to BRDO.

        9. Investigation Officers are required to escalate to their line manager all (suspected or actual) serious or complex incidents of non-compliance. This includes, and not exclusively, all non-compliance directly impacting on the safety of young and vulnerable persons.