Court orders local resident to pay £800 fine for dropping cigarette butt

Posted on: 4 October 2018

A local resident who dropped litter ended up paying a heavy price for his crime.

People, who are caught dropping litter, fly tipping and allowing their dogs to foul in public places face on-the-spot fines of £150.  If they fail to pay the fixed penalty, the case is referred to court.

Issuing fixed penalty notices are one means by which Mid Devon Council is tackling environmental crime.  Each year the Council receives numerous complaints from residents about litter and other antisocial behaviour.  Taking enforcement action demonstrates that littering and fly tipping are socially unacceptable and carry a significant financial penalty if caught.  This was recently highlighted after an on–the-spot fine for littering resulted in the offender having to pay £800.  A fixed penalty notice was issued early this year after an Enforcement Officer carried out a routine patrol along Fore Street in Tiverton and witnessed the offender throw a cigarette butt on the ground prior to using a cash point.

Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Environment Cllr Clive Eginton said: “The offender who neglected to pay the-on-the-spot fine for dropping litter has now been taught an expensive lesson.  Issuing and enforcing fines shows that we take the problem seriously.  If payment of a fixed penalty notice is not made within a specified amount of time, the Council will refer the matter to the courts for prosecution.  Enforcement works best when it’s clear and consistent and will hopefully make would-be offenders think twice about dropping litter, especially if they know they could be caught and fined”.

Cigarette litter, which is one of the most common causes of street litter, is harmful to the environment.  It not only looks unsightly, but is costly and time consuming to clean-up.  The Council hopes that enforcement will make a significant impact on reducing littering and dog fouling in the district.  Enforcement is not about recouping costs through fines, but the revenue generated by fixed penalties can go towards offsetting the cost for having to clear it up.

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Posted in: Environment