Littering Fixed Penalty Notices Frequently Asked Questions
- No signs nearby
- No litter bins nearby
- I only dropped my cigarette end...
- Bins catching fire
- I offered to pick up my litter
- No warning
- What's the big deal?
- I received a second Fixed Penalty Notice
- Is this a money making scheme?
- Who agreed this?
We are not required to place signs in every street, road, highway or open park/space to tell people not to litter. Littering is a criminal offence and has been for many years.
It is not possible to place litter bins in every street, road and highway. Every effort is made to place bins where they are most needed and where there are the most people, such as in town centres and major shopping areas. Where bins are not available it is up to you to act responsibly and either take your litter home or carry it until a bin is available.
I only dropped my cigarette end; why should such a small item be treated the same way as dropping larger items of litter?
By law, litter includes small items such as cigarette butts and chewing gum. In many ways these items are more of a nuisance and more expensive to clean up than other items of rubbish.
Smokers are responsible for ensuring that they completely extinguish their cigarettes before placing them in the bin. Most bins have stubbing plates provided. If no suitable bin is nearby, smokers should either take their cigarette end with them or carry them until a suitable receptacle is available.
The offence relates to the dropping, throwing or depositing of litter and leaving it. So whether or not you subsequently volunteer to pick up your litter afterwards you have committed an offence and will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Littering is an offence. We can take enforcement action where the offence is committed and do not have to give people a warning.
This is all a bit petty isn't it, what's the big deal about a few crisp packets and cigarette stubs anyway?
Littering is not only a serious blight on our environment but very costly to the council as well.
Should the same person commit the same offence more than once in any twelve-month period, consideration will be given to prosecuting the individual rather than issuing a further Fixed Penalty Notice.
Is this just a money-making scheme; are your enforcement officers issued quotas or given bonuses for the number of FPNs issued?
No quotas are set for the number of FPNs issued. All of our enforcement officers will issue FPNs where there is evidence that an offence has been committed. Enforcement officers are paid a salary that is not determined by the amount of FPNs issued. The aim of this enforcement activity is to stop people from littering, not to make money.
This was approved at a Cabinet Member Signing on Monday, 31 October, 2016. Full details and minutes of that meeting are available here.
See the following press release for further background - Haringey fights back against litter - Wednesday 23 November 2016.
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