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Litter fine - can you afford £80 for a snack?

The Council is concentrating resources on four main action areas to "Keep South Ayrshire Litter Free", they are:

  1. Enforcement of litter legislation
  2. Education
  3. Improved cleansing services
  4. Campaign work to raise awareness of the problem.

Please don't drop your litter. Litter makes a real mess of our beautiful country and cleaning it up costs a lot of time and money that could be better spent on other services.

Litter offenders can receive an on the spot fine of £80 which if not paid could result in a £2,500 fine in court.

Summary of the law

£80 FIXED PENALTY NOTICES FOR LEAVING LITTER

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part IV (Litter) Section 88 gives powers to litter authorities to operate a fixed penalty scheme for littering. The following is a brief guide to how the scheme works.

South Ayrshire Council have appointed authorised officers (often termed 'litter wardens') who can issue £80 fixed penalty fines (an 'on-the-spot' ticket) to litterers. If this fine is paid, no further court action is taken against the litterer.

The offence

If an authorised officer of a litter authority believes a person has committed a littering offence under section 87 (The Offence of Leaving Litter) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 [EPA] in an area of that authority, he may offer that person the opportunity of discharging liability for conviction by payment of a fixed penalty. The amount payable is currently £50.

Section 87 of the EPA describes the offence as: "If anyone throws down, drops or otherwise deposits in, into or from any place to which this section applies, and leaves anything whatsoever in such circumstances as to cause to contribute to, or tend to lead to, the defacement by litter of any place to which this section applies, he shall… be guilty of an offence."

The Fixed Penalty Notice

The formal notice to be given to a person believed to have committed an offence must include details of where and when the offence was committed, by whom and where payment is to be made. The period for payment is 14 days and payment means the person concerned cannot then be convicted of a litter offence.

Who can issue the notice

'Authorised officer' means an officer of the Council who is authorised in writing by the authority to issue notices under this section (the person may be called a litter warden or some other designation or be an existing officer who has other duties).

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Last updated: 25 February 2016

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