Ten litterbugs get hefty fines for cigarette ends in Havant

File picture shows Havant Borough Council enforcement officer,  Darren Hopkins, left, talking to resident Malcolm Garbutt during a routine patrol of the area
File picture shows Havant Borough Council enforcement officer, Darren Hopkins, left, talking to resident Malcolm Garbutt during a routine patrol of the area
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TEN litterers who refused to pay fines have felt the full force of the law.

Havant Borough Council took the 10 people to court after they failed to pay a £75 fine for the offence of dropping litter, which includes cigarette butts.

Last May the council employed a private enforcement firm, Kingdom, to prosecute litter bugs and 3,881 fines have since been given out.

That includes 3,758 fines for dropping cigarette ends, 122 for general litter and one fine for dog fouling.

As of last autumn, more than 600 people had not paid the fines and those people are now been hauled before Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

The council is prosecuting the offenders in batches, with court hearings each week until July.

Court proceedings begin if people do not pay the £75 fine within 14 days.

Six of the 10 were proved guilty in absence and fined £200 by the court, plus £124 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Three people pleaded guilty via post and were given fines that varied depending on their means.

Councillor Tony Briggs, in charge of environment in Havant borough, said: ‘Cigarette ends are litter and must be disposed of responsibly or you will face a fine. ‘We have a tough stance on litterers who blight our streets and cost council tax payers money in street cleaning bills.’

Last October, the council reported that £120,000 had been taken from paid fines and this covered the cost of employing Kingdom.

Officials said none of the cash goes into council coffers and it all goes into employing wardens and the administration costs of pursuing fines through the courts. The council’s own rangers have started patrolling parks in plain clothes to catch dog fouling offenders.