I do sometimes wish we had a sense of proportion when trying to get people to do things we think as socially acceptable, such as not stealing putting their bins out on he right day.
If only the legislaters thought the same.
Some time ago it was felt appropriate to give shoplifters fixed penalty tickets for minor offences provided that they met the requirements, like not having done it too often or too recently. The fine is set at Ã‚Â£80.
Given the amount of police legislative time saved on dealing with shoplifters the average likely outcome I guess an Ã‚Â£80 fine is fair result.
Local councils, on the other hand, are dishing out fines of up to Ã‚Â£110 for offences related to rubbish disposal, such as putting bins out on the wrong day, overfilling wheely-bins or putting recycling in the wrong boxes or bags.
Not all councils have the same approach. As a result of a Freedom of Information enquiry by the Telegraph, 40 of 358 councils said they had issued fines. (151 councils did not reply).
The TaxPayers Alliance said: It is excessively draconian to fine people for putting their bins out at the wrong time or making an occasional mistake when sorting recycling.
People pay a lot to their councils, and they do not deserve to be bossed around by petty officials in return. Some councils seem to have forgotten that they are there to serve the public, and that means being flexible and helpful, not oppressive and money-grabbing.
Im not specifically against people being fined for different things but it should be proportionate, advice, letter etc then action of the other routes fail. But if a fine is considered the suitable course of action then they need to be fair; the punishment should fit the crime.
Mind you, given that this country seems go have great difficulty understanding that very concept, I guess a proportionate response to sticking carrot scrapings in a blue bag rather than a green bag is a somewhat forlorn hope.