Surge in littering fines as Northampton Borough Council cracks down on town mess
Over 1,500 fines have been issued for littering in the town centre in the past eight months.
Enforcement officers for Northampton Borough Council are stamping out litterbugs and issuing fixed penalty notices to people who drop cigarettes, chewing gum or do not pick up their dog's mess.
1,505 fixed penalty notices for littering were issued in the past eight months, compared to just 74 notices by town centre wardens in the same period last year.
Councilor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for the environment at Northampton Borough Council, said: “People have been telling us that they want the town centre to be a cleaner place, and they want to see us deal with the minority of people who behave anti-socially by dropping litter."
The fines come as part of a pilot scheme by the borough council to clean up the town centre.
The Environmental Enforcement Officers issue Â£80 Fixed Penalty Notices to people caught dropping litter. The penalty is reduced down to Â£50 for prompt payment.
Failing to pay an on-the-spot fine is a criminal offense and the case could then progress to the Magistrates' Court. The Borough Council is now considering how to make the trial a permanent feature to combat littering in Northampton.
Councilor Hallam said: “This trial shows that we have been very successful at catching and taking action against people who litter and we hope that will serve as a deterrent to others who carelessly drop their rubbish in the street. There is no excuse for anyone to drop litter and this scheme has shown that we can crack down on those who spoil the town for the rest of us.”