Court bills of around £300 for people who dropped litter

People who refused to pay £80 fines for dropping litter in Liverpool have been found guilty in court and face being hit in the pocket with a bill almost FOUR times the cost of the fixed penalty notice.

In March 2017, the council launched a new partnership with Kingdom which has seen a 14 strong team of enforcement officers deployed to issue fines to people dropping rubbish across the city.

The vast majority of people pay up, but now those who refuse are being taken to court.

At a hearing at Liverpool Magistrates on Tuesday 15 August, 23 people were found guilty in their absence following evidence presented to the court by the city council. They were fined £150 plus £125 costs and an additional £30 victim surcharge, bringing their total liability to £305 each. One other person pleaded guilty and was fined £100 plus £70 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

All of the cases for the 14 men and 10 women relate to dropped cigarettes, with most of the offences taking place in the city centre, as well as Norris Green and Old Swan.

Most of those taken to court were from the Liverpool area – but there were also people from as far afield as London, Worthing and the Isle of Man.

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Our residents deserve to live in a clean and green environment and not have it trashed by people who think it is someone else’s responsibility to clear up their mess.

“We have now got a zero tolerance approach to people dropping litter, and I hope this court case sends out a strong message that it is far better to pay the fine, rather than simply ignoring it and hoping we will go away. There will be more hearings in the coming months and my advice to anyone who receives a summons is to pay up now – otherwise you risk a much bigger bill if it comes to court.

“Our clear message to people is that dropping litter is anti-social behaviour and blights communities.

“Our share of the income from fines is contributing to the wider environmental budget from which we are funding a range of improvements from larger litter bins to extending street cleansing hours and cleaning alleyways to tracking down those responsible for fly tipping.”

Last month, the council approved plans to introduce an environmental crime hotline and a crackdown on late night takeaways that don’t clear litter from outside their premises as part of its ongoing campaign to tackle blight in Liverpool.

There has also been a doubling in the number of staff tackling flytipping and cleaning alleyways, with four new teams working seven days a week.

Street-cleaning currently costs Liverpool council tax payers £8.5 million per year and last year more than 6,500 tonnes of waste was collected from street cleansing rounds.