CIVIL PENALTY STATISTICS
The Civil Penalty Central Administration Unit (CPCAU)
was set up to administer the civil penalty which came into force
on 3 April 2000. The civil penalty applies to any form of road
vehicle, ship or aircraft and may be extended to rail freight
arriving through the Channel Tunnel. It has been introduced and
is being applied in relation to road vehicles because most clandestine
entrants arrive by this means.
The civil penalty enables the imposition of
a penalty of £2,000 per clandestine entrant to be imposed
on drivers and other responsible persons found to have such people
in their vehicles, having failed to take adequate precautions
to prevent their entry. If the senior officer believes that there
is a likelihood that the fine will not be paid arrangements will
be made to detain the transporter pending payment.
The CPCAU has a pivotal role in the working
of the civil penalty. When a fine is imposed the papers are passed
to the CPCAU. All civil penalty dealings are then administered
from this central point. Objections to the imposition of fines
are considered impartially, determined by the senior officer.
Where representations are overturned, fines are collected and
suitable records kept for accounting purposes. The CPCAU makes
arrangements for sureties to be held in cases where it is agreed
that detained vehicles can be released pending the determination
of objections. The CPCAU administers the detention contract, arranges
for publicity material concerning the civil penalty to be produced
and distributed, arranges training for both IS and other agencies
in the workings of the civil penalty, arranges the sale of transporters
where fines are not paid and collates and maintains various statistics.
As at 1 May 2000 a total of 74 penalty notices
had been issued in respect of vehicles from which 438 clandestine
entrants were apprehended. 19 of the vehicles had British drivers
with the rest being non-British (EU and non-EU).
Twelve vehicles had been detained pending payment
of the penalty, but two were subsequently released on production
of satisfaction sureties.
No penalties have yet been paid. There are 30
days to lodge a Notice of Objection and 60 days to pay the penalty.
Notices of Objection have been received in 12 cases.
Although it is too soon to be definitive about
its impact, early signs are that the civil penalty is having an
effect on the number of clandestine entrants arriving. Provisional
figures show that in April some 330 fewer clandestine entrants
were encountered in Dover compared to March, this representing
a reduction of more than 20 per cent. In April a total of 1,058
illegals were detected in Kent as a whole compared to 1,423 in
March, this reduction of 365 is a drop of approximately 25 per