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CHARITY URGES 'SMARTER' USE OF LITTER FINES

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Councils should only issue environmental fines if they have enough evidence to back them up, according to the Keep ...
Councils should only issue environmental fines if they have enough evidence to back them up, according to the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

The charity spoke out today after the LGA earlier revealed that 17,000 fixed penalty fines have been issued for ltter, dog fouling and fly-tipping since April, but many have not yet been paid.

Peter Gibson, spokesperson for Keep Britain Tidy said: 'Litterers have told us that the best way to get them to use a bin is by fining them. But the fact that some of these fines are not being paid and not being pursued by councils, means that they are not the powerful deterrent they should be.'

Keep Britain Tidy would like to see councils run more education campaigns aimed at getting people to use a bin and clean up their dog's mess, along with issuing fines - and prosecuting people when they don't pay.

If local authorities trained their enforcement officers to only issue fines if they had enough evidence to back up their claim, magistrates could make the culprit pay a larger fine and cover the council's costs on pursuing those who failed to pay, the charity added.

Magistrates appeared to be more willing to impose larger fines for environmental nusiance - in June, a Manchester woman was fined a record£800 and ordered to pay£800 costs for repeatedly letting her dog foul the streets where she lived.

Mr Gibson added: 'The new Clean Neighbourhoods Act gives councils the wherewithal to really clamp down on those who deface and damage our environment. Now the challenge for councils is to use the powers effectively and responsibly. There is plenty of training and support available to help them. They can also rely on the support of the public who are sick of paying out to clean-up other people's rubbish.'

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