District council wages war on litter louts with fines increase

STAFFORDSHIRE Moorlands District Council is to introducing heavier fines in an attempt to deter litter louts.

The authority is adopting a fixed maximum penalty of £150 for each littering offence, which includes graffiti, fly-posting and unauthorised distribution of printed matter.

Offenders who pay their fine in 10 days will be granted a discount of £50 to encourage early settlement.

Figures issued by the council show the number of fixed penalties issued for dropping litter in 2017/18 was 48 compared to 30 in 2016/17.

However, already this year between April 1 and August 31 a total of 51 fixed penalty notices for littering and one for dog fouling have been issued.

The discarding of litter from vehicles remains a problem across the district.

SMDC executive director Mark Trillo said: “Although the council is often able to identify the registered keeper from the vehicle registration, it is not always possible to identify who within the car discarded the litter.”

However, the Littering From Vehicles Outside London (Keepers: Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018 came into force this April.

Mr Trillo added: “This allows the council, subject to certain conditions, the power to issue a penalty notice to the keeper of the vehicle in respect of any litter discarded from that vehicle.

“Enforcement activity is primarily carried out by the council’s enforcement officers.

“The officers carry out the patrols across the district and often work in isolated areas.

“There have been a number of incidents in recent years where they have been threatened or assaulted but fortunately such occurrences are rare.”