This policy covers the enforcement of legislation by the Council, its Officers or contractors.
7.1 Considering the Views of those affected by Offences
Enforcement is undertaken on behalf of the public and not just in the interests of any particular
individual or group. However, when considering the public interest test, where appropriate the
consequences for those affected by the offence and any views expressed by those directly affected
may be sought and may be taken into account.
7.2 Re-starting a Prosecution
People should be able to rely on enforcement decisions taken by Officers. Normally, if a suspect
or defendant is advised that there will not be a prosecution or that the enforcement action has
been stopped the case will not start again. Occasionally, there are special reasons why enforcement
action will re-start, particularly if the case is serious.
These reasons include:
- Rare cases where a "new look" at the original decision shows that it was clearly wrong and should not be allowed to stand;
- Cases which are stopped, so that more evidence can be collected and prepared, provided it is likely to become available in the fairly near future. In these cases, the defendant will be told that the enforcement action may well start again;
- Cases which are stopped because of a lack of evidence but where more significant evidence is discovered later.
Where possible, an offender will be told as soon as sufficient evidence is obtained that a
prosecution may follow. Prosecutions will be brought without unnecessary delay.
7.3 Indemnity of Inspectors
Section 26 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 allows local authorities to indemnify
Inspectors appointed under that Act under specified circumstances. It is the policy of the Council
to indemnify Inspectors appointed under that Act against the whole of any damages and costs or
expenses which may be involved, if the council is satisfied that the Inspector honestly believed
that the act complained of was within their powers and that their duty as an Inspector entitled
them to do it, providing the Inspector was not wilfully acting against instructions.