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17,000 FINES ISSUED IN CRACKDOWN ON ENVIRO-CRIME

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The first investigation into new environment laws, which came into force six months ago, has revealed councils have...
The first investigation into new environment laws, which came into force six months ago, has revealed councils have issued more than 17,000 fines in a bid to clean up England's towns and cities.

* 16,118 fines of up to£80 issued for a range of enviro crimes including litter dropping, failing to clean up dog mess and fly-posting.

* 290 fines of up to£100 issued to people leaving household waste out at the wrong times.

* 611 fines issued to landlords to remove fly-tipped waste from their land.

The new research by the Local Government Association into the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, introduced on 6 April, also found over 12,000 abandoned supermarket trolleys have been collected by local authorities. Many councils reported using the new powers to demand recovery costs of up£200 per trolley from stores for returning or destroying their trolleys.

The survey also found two thirds of councils have dealt with people complaining about light pollution since the new measures came into force. In all cases the complaint has been resolved informally as offenders have been willing to redirect lighting or turn it off completely when asked by the council.

Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA Environment Board, said:

'People must realise that they can't get away with dropping litter, fly-tipping or failing to clean up their dog's mess. Councils are using the new powers to get tough on the minority of people who spoil the local area for the rest of the community.

'Local authorities strive to keep where you live clean and tidy and will not tolerate people who commit enviro-crime.

'Larger fines and the ability to issue on the spot penalties are all being used by councils to make sure council tax is kept down and the environment protected.'

Additional Info

1) 16,118 fines of up to£80 have been issued to people who:

Drop litter

Fly-tip

Graffiti

Fly-post

Fail to clean up their dog's mess

Eighty per cent of the fines issued were to people dropping litter and 10% to people failing to clean up their dog's mess.

2) The LGA survey was completed by 163 councils - a response rate of 43% of all local authorities in England - and was carried out from 14 to 21 September.

* Respondent authorities had issued a total of 4,528 fines for litter, graffiti, fly-posting, dog mess and fly-tipping since 6 April.

(4,528 / 109 relevant respondents x 388 councils in England) = 16,118

10% of respondent authorities were issuing fines to people for leaving domestic waste out at the wrong time. 74 of this type of FPN had been issued since 6 April:

(74 / 99 relevant respondents x 388 councils in England) = 290

14.4% of respondent authorities were issuing fines to landlords to remove illegally deposited waste from their land. 156 of this type of fine had been issued since 6 April:

(156/ 99 relevant respondents x 388 councils in England) = 611

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