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Court orders Fenland litter louts to pay £4,400 in fines and costs

Enforcement officers issuing an Fixed Penalty Notice for littering in Wisbech.
Enforcement officers issuing an Fixed Penalty Notice for littering in Wisbech.

Eleven litter louts who ignored on-the- spot fines for dropping rubbish on Fenland’s streets have been taken to court – and were ordered to more than four times more.a

Fenland District Council took the culprits to court on Wednesday, January 3, when initial £75 fixed penalty notices were increased to a £220 fine by Peterborough Magistrates.

The fine dodgers were also ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £30 – bringing the total bill to £400. The fine imposed and victim surcharge will go directly to the court.

The cases come just weeks after five other offenders who ignored the fixed penalty notices were dealt with in a similar way.

They also come as the Council begins to tackle spitting and urinating offences from January under the same powers used for littering and dog fouling, following calls from the public.

The tougher enforcement action began in last June as part of the council’s Tidy Fenland crackdown on environmental crimes. Private enforcement officers from Kingdom have been working with the council’s Street Scene team on the campaign, providing high- profile uniformed patrols on a 12-month trial basis.

In the first seven months of the trial, more than 1,300 hours of patrols have been carried out by Kingdom officers – and more than 1,200 FPNs handed out.

Councillor Peter Murphy, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “Dropping litter and dog fouling are lazy, selfish and anti-social acts, which cost us £1,000 a day to clear up. It blights our streets and residents have made it clear that they want us to tackle it.

“People who commit these environmental crimes face the very real risk of being caught and fined and if they don’t pay their fine they will end up with a much more painful bill.

“The last thing we want to do is take people to court, but if attitudes don’t change, we don’t have much choice. We are working hard to create a cleaner, greener, better Fenland and this type of behaviour is not welcome.”

In November, the council’s overview and scrutiny committee heard the enforcement work was resulting in a district-wide reduction in the amount of litter being dropped. Of 19 litter hotspots identified across Fenland, 15 have shown a reduction in food and drink cartons, takeaway wrappers and cigarette-related litter.

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