Wellsmith, Melanie and Guille, Hannah (2005) Fixed penalty notices as a means of offender selection. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 7 (1). pp. 36-43. ISSN 1478-1603

This research assesses the capacity of fixed penalty
notice (FPN) infractions to form the basis for
targeted police attention to more serious or chronic
offenders. Offences of this kind were associated
with concurrent criminality, relative to a group
selected from the electoral register. Over half of the
notices issued were not associated with a named
individual, presumably because many vehicles did
not have a current registered keeper. The ‘hit rate’
for concurrent criminality was not significantly
different than for the control group. When repeat
fixed penalty offences were analysed, this produced
a higher hit rate, although it remained
lower than expected from other studies. A number
of problems in carrying out analysis on these
types of data are discussed and it is suggested that
a study in which checks are made at the point of
issuing an FPN might well yield far higher rates
of active criminality, and might provide a more
powerful trigger for offender self-selection. Further
areas for research into self-selection triggers are
also suggested.

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