From parking tickets to the pandemic: Fixed penalty notices, inequity, and the regulation of everyday behaviours

Kath Murray*, Susan McVie, Ben Mattews, Vicky Gorton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Since the 1960s, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have become a widely-used, sanction in the UK, used to deal with various low-level offences. More recently, the sanction came to prominence as the mechanism chosen to enforce the Coronavirus Health Regulations. This paper critically examines the decision to employ FPNs in this context, and the implications in respect of inequality and inequity. We show that the decision was at odds with contemporaneous policing trends, and, drawing on new research evidence, argue that the Regulations stretched FPNs beyond their intended use, creating inequalities in enforcement and inequitable punishment effects. Our findings raise policy questions about the impact of the Health Regulations and what actions should be taken in the event of future pandemics.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberazae016
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalThe British Journal of Criminology: An International Review of Crime and Society (BJC)
Early online date13 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • fixed penalty notices
  • policing
  • Covid-19
  • Scotland

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