Further to her recent article on Fire Safety Laws, Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors considers the criminal consequences for any breaches.
Criminal Offences| Kangs Criminal Law Solicitors
Should the Authority consider that breaches by the responsible person are so serious that they need to be punished by a criminal prosecution, proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court will be instituted.
Some of the offences created by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 arise from failings to:
- take general fire precautions.
- make a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk.
- establish and give effect to procedures to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger.
- ensure premises, facilities, equipment and devices were maintained.
- ensure employees were provided with adequate safety training.
The Courts take breaches of Fire Safety Laws very seriously given that individuals may have been exposed to the risk of serious injury or, even, death.
Therefore, all companies, directors and responsible person(s) need to be very mindful of the serious obligations placed upon them.
Court Procedure and Sentencing | Kangs Court Trial Solicitors
The Offences in question are known as ‘either way offences’ which means that they can be tried in either the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.
Previously, if the prosecution was dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, the fine was limited to £5000 in respect of each breach.
However, by virtue of the Legal Aid and Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, the maximum level of fine is now unlimited for offences committed after the 12th March 2015.
In cases where the Magistrates deem their sentencing powers to be insufficient, they transfer sentencing to the Crown Court which court can impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years and / or an unlimited fine.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Regulatory Team
If you are facing any criminal investigation, including interview, or prosecution for fire safety offences we can assist you.
We have a proven track record of dealing with such cases and it is important that you receive the correct advice as early in the proceedings as possible.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the lawyers named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.