THURROCK Council has brought successful prosecutions against 21 people who did not pay their littering Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
The cases were heard at Southend Magistrates Court on 22 and 24 May and 7 June with offenders ordered to pay a total of £11,915. Depositing litter is a criminal offence and those who were found guilty will have the conviction reflected on their criminal record.
As part of the council’s clean it, cut it, fill it initiative, enforcement officers have been deployed across the borough to tackle littering and help ensure the borough is clean for residents to enjoy.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, welcomed the prosecutions: “These latest prosecutions build on the convictions brought a few weeks ago to bring those who commit environmental crime to justice.
“When we introduced the pilot enforcement scheme, I told residents that if you drop litter you’ll be fined and if you don’t pay you’ll face the magistrates – and that is exactly what is happening.
“An FPN is £75 and those who don’t pay up have been ordered to pay an average of £560 – seven and half times the original fine.
“We are doing this because we want cleaner streets for our residents – there is no financial benefit to the council. The fine goes to the Home Office, victim surcharge is put into a central pot to support the victims of crime – we only receive costs awarded by the court.”
Cllr Pauline Tolson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “This important work by our teams is making a real difference to the cleanliness of the borough. People should not think they can drop litter and get away with it.
“Offenders had the opportunity to avoid a court imposed fine and a criminal record by paying the FPN, better still they could have used a bin.
“We are increasing the number of bins across the borough and if people cannot see one they can take their litter home. I, and the many residents I have spoken to, have had enough of selfish litter louts.”
For more information about the clean it, cut it, fill it initiative and the LoveThurrock campaign, please visit thurrock.gov.uk/lovethurrock.