The firm enforcing Peterborough’s cycling ban has lost its contract with the council. Kingdom Services Group raked in £80,000 in cycling fines in a 12-month period after Peterborough enforced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) but from January 31 the council’s own Prevention and Enforcement Service will take over responsibility.
PSPOs allow for fixed penalty notices to be issued for a series of offences, but they have often drawn criticism for criminalising behaviour that would not normally be illegal.
Peterborough’s PSPO bans cycling in certain areas and as part of its contract with Peterborough council, Kingdom kept money collected in fines.
It currently takes £45 of each £80 fine with the council taking the remainder, but up until the start of this year Kingdom took the full amount.
Between June 12, 2017, when its contract began, and June 30, 2018, Kingdom collected £80,540 in cycling fines.
Earlier this year, a lawyer for human rights charity Liberty expressed concern that wardens may be, "acting with incentives to issue as many fines as possible".
Peterborough Today reports that in April, Kingdom was criticised after one of its officers allegedly threatened to fine children protesting about climate change as they were supposedly making too much noise.
A Kingdom spokesperson said there had been no intention to carry out the threat.
Speaking last year, council leader John Holdich, who pushed for the PSPO to be introduced, floated the idea that the council could set up its own company to carry out enforcement.
Leader of the council’s Labour group Shaz Nawaz said: “I am pleased the Kingdom contact is being brought in-house, especially following the debacle last year of trying to issue fines to children in the city centre.
“The Labour group have been asking for this to happen for some time. Outsourcing such services seldom, if ever, works.”