I'll probably get a little bit of stick for this (no pun intended) but the general consensus seems to be that there are a lot of pocket Hitlers (often council employees) that really enjoy writing tickets and handing out fines for minor things, 'criminalising' normal people who are otherwise law-abiding. I fully agree that we police by consent (just about) and it would be counter productive to alienate normal law-abiding people - we need cooperation. So I've always taken the 'attitude test' approach when dealing with very minor stuff: "put your seatbelt on sir, its for your own safety" "It appears you've inadvertantly dropped that cigarette butt madam" "There's a perfectly good road for you to cycle on there sir, please get off the pavement" If the response to this is "Sorry officer, yes officer" and so on, then I'm happy enough. Its only if I get lip or rudeness that I'll be inclined to write a ticket &c. This is all well and good, however, I am inclined to believe that most of the people that I've said this sort of thing to will end up doing the same thing as soon as they are out of sight. Littering, for example, is a big bugbear of mine - and I can't stand people that make the outside of the station, for example, look like an ashtray.....or the people that leave the half-eaten kebabs strewn across the town centre....or the people that seem to think that the world outside of their car is a bin. So when is it reasonable to stick people on for the minor stuff? I'm heading down to the local (major-ish) station later for a bit of foot patrolling later....if the usual smokers are outside strewing their butts on the floor would it be unreasonable to fine a couple? Would seeing a couple of people fined remind the others that its not on...or will it just pish people off and make plod even more unpopular?