Home Business News London councils get tough on litter 

London councils get tough on litter 

by LLB staff reporter
28th Feb 24 7:34 am

Councils in England are clamping down on litterbugs with 165,000 fines issued in just one year across the country.

Now analysts from Quotezone.co.uk have published an index showing exactly how many fines councils are issuing across each region to try and tackle the problem.

Based on a series of Freedom of Information requests by litter campaigners Clean Up Britain, the findings also reveal some councils are not issuing any penalties whatsoever – with more than a fifth of local authorities turning a blind eye.

Responses from the councils show the difference in enforcement across the regions, with the most recent data (2021/22) showing 21% of councils issued zero fines for littering.

But some councils are cracking down on punishments, with on-the-spot fines being handed out to offenders.

London has been named as the city with the most litter fines, as 56,354 fines were given out to local litterers.

The worst offending London borough was Lambeth, where despite the risk of a £150 on-the-spot fine, over 18,100 people were caught incorrectly disposing of waste.

Westminster came out as the area with the least fines for littering, as just one fine was issued over the year.

The South East of England had the next highest littering fines at 28,357, with Milton Keynes and Medway the worst offending areas.

The East of England took the third spot with 19,805 litter fines, and Harlow had the most littering fines issued.

The North West of England closely followed with 17,013 offences recorded, with the average littering fine costing £114.

Manchester had the most littering fines in the region, recorded at 10,521 which is four times higher than any other area in the North West.

Yorkshire and Humber took the fifth spot where there were 11,695 dished out to litterers, mostly in the Kingston upon Hull area.

Five authorities in the region gave out over 1000 fines, including Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster.

The West Midlands had over 10,900 littering offences, while Dudley had the highest fines at 4,143.

The East Midlands, South West and West of England came up as some of the least-punished areas, with each region handing out less than 10,000 fines.

The area with the least punishment for littering cases was the North East, where just 1,484 offences were recorded.

Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk said, “Littering is an environmental crime and we support local authorities taking action by giving on-the-spot fines to those found at fault.

“A recent Quotezone survey showed 75% of people thought litter in their area was getting worse – with 73% saying they’d actually witnessed someone littering.

“Those found at fault will be given a fixed penalty notice (FPN) from their local council or similar authority, explaining the offence and the penalty they are liable for.

“The punishment for littering crimes is different across the country.  A FPN for littering is usually £150, but in July 2023 the government increased the upper limits which means those caught littering can now be fined up to £500.

“Our survey also found a shocking 82% had seen someone throw litter out of a car window.  Rule 147 of the Highway Code says drivers must not throw anything out of a vehicle, including cigarette ends, because it can endanger other road users.

“Depending on the severity of the issue, littering from the car may also be deemed a distraction, if the driver is found not paying due care and attention, they could face further prosecution and risk penalty points – in turn affecting car insurance premiums and likely a larger fine.”

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