Ealing Council successfully prosecuted 35 people last week for dropping litter in the borough’s streets. With the exception of one, each are faced with a £530 fine, which includes their court costs, as well as a criminal record.
The council is taking a tough stance against littering, spitting and dog-fouling with dozens of people being caught red-handed since the council’s environmental enforcement contractor, Kingdom Security, started patrolling the streets last September.
Those caught are initially issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £80, the maximum penalty for this type of offence. People who fail to pay after being sent a reminder are being referred to the council’s legal team for prosecution.
The Kingdom Security patrols are part of wider council enforcement action to clean up local streets. In addition to the litter patrols, Kingdom Security is also part of joint operations with the police and council officers to catch people who are fly-tipping. The council recently agreed to increase its FPN amount for fly-tipping up to £400.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “Everyone has a part to play in helping to keep our streets clean and there is no excuse for dropping litter or cigarette butts, or spitting. For most people, getting an £80 fixed penalty notice is exactly the wake-up call they need to stop this dirty and selfish habit and the fact that most FPNs are paid quickly and without dispute shows that they accept they were in the wrong.
“For those people who think we aren’t taking this issue seriously, I hope that these prosecutions show that we are prepared to use our full legal powers to keep the streets clean. A simple £80 charge can escalate into a criminal record and a fine of hundreds of pounds. It’s much easier to simply put it in the bin in the first place.”
Residents can report littering and dog fouling online at www.ealing.gov.uk/reportit.