Call for police to show mercy to those on the margins

Changes should be made to the way traffic fines and other penalty notices are issued to ensure that the homeless, mentally ill and other vulnerable people are not caught in a vicious cycle of debt and disadvantage.

The NSW Law Reform Commission has recommended that law enforcement officers be forced to consider issuing a caution instead of a penalty notice and to let certain people off fines automatically.

Public Interest Advocacy Centre chief executive Edward Santow said he believed change was needed because the system reinforced and exacerbated the disadvantages that were faced by vulnerable people.

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