Stop 3gs imposing harsh penalties

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3gs are patrolling the streets of Manchester giving out fixed penalty notices for up to £80 for littering. I had the misfortune to drop a cigarette end on the pavement (which I duly picked up on realising my error) in Manchester and was issued with a fixed penalty notice for £80 (reduced to £50 if I pay it within 10 days). I was then read my rights and told anything I did say would be given in evidence and asked to provide identification. As any harm caused had been reversed by picking up the litter this seems rather harsh. What is more concerning is there is no right to appeal though it is possible to complain to 3gs.

Having done some research on 3gs it seems they have a reputation for giving out fines disproportionate to offences and mostly it seems to women. A woman in Brighton and Hove was fined £600 and threatened with prison after putting her recycling in the wrong bin see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/woman-fine-600-pounds-cardboard-wrong-bin-recycling-hove-council-jail-alison-mapletoft-a8187466.html and a woman in Bradford was issued with an £80 fixed penalty fine after feeding the crumbs of a sausage roll to pigeons see http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/15792927.Mum_s_fury_over___80_fine_after_her_children_fed_sausage_roll_crumbs_to_pigeons/

This petition calls for the following action

1) Give those receiving fixed penalty notices the right to appeal

2) ask local councils to stop tendering work out to non-democratically elected private companies such as 3gs and instead employ council wardens who are more accountable

This may seem like a minor matter but if we tolerate the small things then we will have no right of appeal when more serious stuff happens.

 



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