Police/Criminal Action FAQ
I have paid a fine to the magistrates’ court/paid a fixed penalty notice to the police so why do I have to pay more? - As a result of your actions the Police were involved and these payments were in effect the punishment for your actions and so concluded the criminal proceedings. The payment/s you made went to the Crown. The business who had to invest huge sums of money to protect itself from such wrongful actions and employ people solely to deal with such incidents has not been compensated in any way for its costs and losses, hence the separate civil claim, which remains outstanding. The business can rely on the criminal outcome to help establish your liability for its civil claim. The business may be prepared to offset some of your payment for the criminal matter if you offer a settlement payment.
I paid compensation in the Magistrates’ Court - If you have paid compensation to the Magistrates’ Court (as opposed to a fine, costs and victim surcharge), you will need to send in proof of the compensation ordered. This will then be deducted from the civil claim as a business may not double recover its losses. We will then advise you of the revised claim amount.
The Police didn’t prosecute me. It was dealt with by way of Restorative Justice/Community Resolution/Charity donation. I thought that was the end of it. -The business in consultation with the Police agreed to this course of action rather than tarnish you with a criminal record as a conclusion to the criminal proceedings. As the business suffered costs due to your actions, it wants you to pay a contribution towards these and to deter any further incidents. The business can rely on the criminal outcome to help establish your liability for its civil claim.
The Police were not involved/took no action against me – so you can’t do this - Criminal and civil actions are separate to each other with different burdens of proof. This is a civil claim for compensation and is not negated by the criminal outcome or whether police attended. It is not always possible for the Police to attend such incidents. Not all incidents are prosecuted, the Police use a range of disposal options for different incident types. The business has sufficient evidence to establish civil liability on the balance of probability. If you believe you have a defence you must provide details to us. Any representations you make will be investigated. If there is a valid defence the claim will not proceed.
Why did the retailer not call the Police? I think it was so they could do civil recovery and make money - Most businesses believe it is fair and equitable (regardless of whether the Police are involved or not) to request compensation from those committing wrongful acts rather than pass on the cost to good, honest customers and for those involved to accept responsibility for their actions. A business also has to consider impact on valuable Police resource and give consideration to the impact of a criminal record on an individual and its long term effect, especially when an individual is perhaps young and/or reckless.
I received a caution– that should be the end of it - The caution is the end of the criminal matter. In order for you to receive a caution you have admitted the criminal offence to the police. Your admission will be admissible in evidence in the civil proceedings as evidence of your wrongdoing and should establish liability.