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Local litter offenders pick up hefty fines

John Freeman
Four people who failed to pay fines for dropping litter in local streets have been ordered to pay a total of £770 by a court.

All four were issued with £80 fixed penalty notices during June, July and August as part of a crackdown by Lancaster City Council. In total, 46 fixed penalty notices were issued to people caught dropping cigarette butts in Lancaster.

Anyone who drops litter is committing a criminal offence and liable to an £80 on the spot fine if caught by a member of council staff, a Police Community Support Officer, or even a member of the public.

Hannah Smith, of Beeching Close, Lancaster, pleaded guilty by post to failing to pay her fixed penalty notices. She was ordered to pay a £40 fine, £60 costs, and £15 victim surcharge.

Jacqui Crowe of Hammerton Hall Close, Lancaster and Deborah Parker of Christie Avenue in Morecambe did not appear. Both were ordered to pay a £175 fine, £60 costs, and £15 victim surcharge.

Mohammed Latif of The Roundhouse, Robert Street, Lancaster appeared before magistrates and was found guilty and ordered to pay £80 fine, £60 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

Councillor Jon Barry, cabinet member with responsibility for the environment, said: “One of Lancaster City Council's key priorities is to make our district a cleaner and healthier place to live. One of the ways we are doing this is by taking enforcement action against those people who drop litter on the street.”

“We hope these cases show that we are more than willing to pursue offenders through the courts."

A person convicted of dropping litter could be liable to a maximum fine of £2,500.

A 'victim surcharge' has been added on top of every fine for a criminal offence handed out in court since 1st April 2007. It is be paid into a fund aimed at helping improve services for victims of crime, and has been fixed at a flat rate regardless of the size of the fine.

• Anyone who witnesses someone littering should contact the council’s customer service centre on 01524 582491.

Littering: A Criminal Offence (Defra web site)