Litterbugs deserve the fines they get every time

Lesley says you can keep the white stuff, thank you! 
Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

LESLEY KEATING: It was almost perfect until cable firm scuppered it

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There are few things that can affect the look and reputation of a place more than litter.

It’s a blight that should not be tolerated anywhere.

Whether it’s idiots dropping empty fast-food containers, or smokers dropping a fag end, there’s literally no excuse.

It’s anti-social, it’s environmentally unfriendly and – quite rightly – punished when caught.

Which is why we welcome the news today that more than 6,000 littering fines have been given out in Havant.

In total, 6,434 people were penalised for dropping cigarette butts, with another 200 for general littering.

As The News has previously reported, not everyone has been behind this zero-tolerance approach – especially smokers who have been caught out, although they should consider the decades it takes for cigarette butts to biodegrade next time they drop one.

But we believe Havant is setting a fine example and one that other local authorities could follow.

The results are clear. The streets are cleaner and more people are using the special bins for cigarette ends.

That has to be considered a success and the longer it goes on, the stronger the message will be.

And it’s made £70,000 for council coffers, which is not to be sniffed at.

It’s to be admired that the council has taken such a strong line on the issue.

The message comes across loud and clear – litter and we’ll fine you.

And they’re as good as their word – just ask the 6,000 people penalised.

So Havant is leading the way on this one but the issue of cigarette butts on the ground is a problem across the area, so let’s hope other councils take note.