A TEEN dad claims to have been unfairly targeted after a council officer gave him an £80 penalty for littering because the wind blew his cigarette butt out of a bin.
Jordon Green had just dropped his six-year-old stepson at school last Thursday when he lit a cigarette to smoke while he walked back to his Waterlooville home.
The 19-year-old eventually disposed of it in a bin near the Co-operative at Crookhorn Precinct and continued his stroll.
But seconds later he was pulled up by a Havant Borough Council enforcement officer – who gave him a fixed penalty notice because the cigarette butt had ended up on the floor.
‘I put the cigarette end in the bin but unfortunately the wind was strong, so it flew out and I got fined for it,’ Jordon said.
‘I said to the enforcement officer, look, I didn’t mean to do it – it was the wind.
‘But he said “I’ve got to do my job, this is how I get paid so tough luck”.’
Jordon, who branded the fine ‘completely unjustifiable’, has accused the council of singling him out in a bid to meet financial targets.
‘On the way back home I got followed by the enforcement officer for no reason, so already that was quite weird,’ he said.
‘But if they’re going round picking up people on their own to make money it’s completely wrong.
‘We have a massive problem with students dropping rubbish around here, making the place look like a tip, but they’re never around for that.’
He added: ‘We have a newborn and we’re constantly buying clothes and food at the moment.
‘We do not have £80 to spend on a fag butt flying out of a bin.’
A council spokesperson said ‘We are unable to comment on individual cases of littering but Mr Green has already contacted us and we are looking at his case. Every representation is considered on a case-by-case basis.
‘Should someone not be satisfied with the response to their appeal, they still have the option of challenging the evidence in court.’
The authority denied setting targets for the number of fixed penalty notices issued and said the fines were currently restricted to those over the age of 18.
Littering is a criminal offence that can carry a maximum fine of £2,500.
If someone accused of littering does not agree they committed an offence, their case will be dealt with through formal prosecution via the courts.
It would then be up to the court, on receiving evidence, to determine whether or not an offence was committed and whether any penalty should be imposed.