PEOPLE caught dropping litter at a hospital site have been handed £75 fines, with one person ending up in court after failing to pay.
Enforcement officers have handed out 45 fixed penalty notices to litterbugs at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, since they started patrolling its grounds in October.
It is about people understanding if they are caught dropping litter then they will be fined.Peter Mellor
One person has been prosecuted in court after not paying the notice and in total was fined £476, which included court costs and a victim surcharge. Three more people are awaiting prosecution proceedings.
As previously reported in The News, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA Hospital, asked Portsmouth City Council to expand its litter patrols to the Cosham site.
The trust decided to bring in enforcement because cigarette ends were being thrown in the flowerbeds outside the hospital’s main entrance despite there being 47 bins on site.
Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs and business development at QA, said: ‘Since the patrols have started there has been a gradual improvement, which will increase as time goes on.
‘It is about people understanding if they are caught dropping litter then they will be fined.
‘The figures show people are being handed penalty notices and the rules are being enforced.
‘We are grateful to the council and its officers for helping us control this problem.’
Mr Mellor said no-one seemed to have complained about the fines, but the trust is looking to put up posters inside the main entrances of the hospital to accompany the warning signs in the grounds.
He added: ‘It is only fair that we let people know and warn them of the consequences.
‘If they are caught dropping litter they will be fined and if they do not pay that fine, they will end up in court.’
QA Hospital is not paying for the enforcement officers and money from the fines goes into a council central pot which is used on anti-littering activity across the city.
A city council spokeswoman said: ‘We have issued 45 fixed penalties for littering at QA to date. If they had all been paid in full, it would amount to £3,375.
‘We have spent 120 hours in patrols and follow-up administration work.’
he added the majority of the litter has been smoking-related waste but the enforcement officers are fining people seen dropping any sort of rubbish.