Increase in abuse to litter enforcement officers

LITTER Cigarette butts left on the roadside
LITTER Cigarette butts left on the roadside

County council grant aims to reduce household waste

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ENFORCEMENT officers are being met with abuse when they challenge smokers who litter the streets with butts.

Havant Borough Council is clamping down on people who drop cigarettes in the street and walk away.

They have the power to issue on the spot fines of £75 but some enforcement officers have been hit with a tirade of abuse.

Nick Horton, the man in charge of keeping the streets clean in the borough, said: ‘We’ve managed to avoid being assaulted but we’ve been verbally abused and spat at. We’ve had people simply turn around, with a tirade of abuse, and walk away.

‘That leads to the next phase of our enforcement which would be to involved the police. It’s an offence not to provide us with the appropriate details and, occasionally, what should have started out as a relatively civil engagement with a member of the public which may or may not have ended with them being given a fixed penalty notice, has ended up with them being arrested.’

But it’s not just cigarette butts the officers are clamping down on. There is a push from central government for them to clean up the streets of all litter, including chewing gum.

If the fine is paid promptly it is reduced to £50.