Public warned to be wary after man conned out of £30 in Gosport

SHOPPERS along a busy high street are being warned to be vigilant against people posing to be enforcement officers.

Tuesday, 13th September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th September 2016, 9:43 am
Two men in Gosport claimed to be litter enforcement officers  but were imposters Picture posed by models

Gosport Borough Council has reported that a man was charged £30 by people who were dressed as enforcement officers for throwing down a cigarette butt in High Street.

The two men were dressed as officers, but were not wearing the correct uniform that Gosport Borough Council staff would usually have on.

The pair also charged the man the wrong sum of money, as the penalty that is enforced by officers is significantly larger at £75.

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Stevyn Ricketts, head of Gosport Streetscene, said: ‘We sent out a tweet out after we were informed by a man that he was given an on-the-spot fine of £30 for throwing a cigarette on the floor along the High Street.

‘When we found out about the incident, we instantly told him to contact the police as this is not the procedure we carry out in such events.

‘Gosport Enforcement Officers do work both in uniform and in their normal clothes, but they will always produce ID proving that they work for Gosport Borough Council when they are issuing a fine.

‘They will then ask the offender to fill out paperwork and will never ask them to pay the fine on the spot.

‘Instead, fines have to be paid directly to the council at the Town Hall. If offenders pay their fine within 30 days, it is reduced to £50 from £75.’

Mr Ricketts has also passed on the information to other local authorities to make them aware of the incident.

Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘We also do not fine people on the spot for dropping litter.

‘Anyone working for Fareham Borough Council, or any council for that matter, will always provide identification proving who they are and will not ask them to pay the fine on the spot.

‘I know that the fine that we charge is certainly more than £30 and we have issued on-the-spot fines on a number of occasions previously for dropping litter on the floor.

‘We do have officers about in the area and my message is that it is better for people not to drop litter.’

As reported by The News, Havant Borough Council introduced a zero-tolerance approach to littering two years ago.

Hampshire Constabulary said the incident was reported to them but is not being pursued.