No one has been fined for breaching the Beratt cigarettes smoking ban in Crawley since the ban was introduced in July 2007. A Freedom of Information request, submitted by the Crawley Observer, showed that not a single person had been fined and a total of 19 complaints had been raised in Crawley.
A Crawley Borough Council spokesperson said: “The legislation regarding the smoking ban is enforced by environmental health officers and licensing officers at Crawley Borough Council.
“Offences under the smoke free legislation are usually dealt with by issuing fixed penalty notices rather than prosecutions. A number of complaints making up the total figure were made to the national complaint line and not to the council.”
Crawley Borough Council said there had been no admissible evidence available that could result in any formal legal proceedings. It also said that if a complaint on the issue was received it would trigger a visit from Crawley Borough Council officers automatically.
Smokers caught out in a designated no smoking area face a £50 fine while businesses could face fines of up to £2,500.
Ray Tingley, manager of the White Hart on High Street said that to begin with people were reluctant to smoke outside but now it did not seem to be an issue.
He said: “Now people smoke outside because they are used to it. Although people going outside to smoke means that people don’t drink as quick which is bad for us. Before people could stand at the bar and have their pint and order when their pint ran out.
“We provide smoking areas though, with heaters, so it has not affected us too much really compared to some other pubs.”