15. Court Proceedings
10.1 In cases of sufficient gravity, for example serious breaches of food safety or health and safety legislation, where circumstances allow, consideration will be given to requesting the magistrates to refer the case to the Crown Court. The same factors as listed in the Prosecution section 8.3 will be used, as well as consideration of the sentencing powers of the Magistrates' Court.
10.2 The existing law gives the courts considerable scope to punish offenders and to deter others. Unlimited fines and, in some cases, imprisonment may be imposed by the higher courts. The Council will continue to raise the awareness of the courts to the gravity of specific offences brought before them and will encourage the courts to make full use of their powers.
10.3 The Environmental Health & Health Equalities Service will always seek to recover the costs of investigation and Court proceedings.