Fancy paying £150 instead of £75 for dropping litter? Well soon you might have to but first tell the Fenland council what you think

PUBLISHED: 17:24 30 August 2019

A man gets issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice in Wisbech for dropping litter (left), and enforcement officers on patrol in Wisbech town centre. PHOTOS: Fenland District Council

A man gets issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice in Wisbech for dropping litter (left), and enforcement officers on patrol in Wisbech town centre. PHOTOS: Fenland District Council

Archant

Fines for dropping litter could double to £150 in line with those imposed in Cambridge, Fenland District Council has warned.

The council is undertaking a residents' survey to find if people in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey and the villages want to see tougher action against offenders.

New figures released by Fenland Council show that from August 1 last year to August 1 this year the council issued 442 fixed penalty notices (FPN) at £75 each,

But one idea being considered is for the punishments to be aligned to other Cambridgeshire councils and if they followed the lead taken by Cambridge City Council that would mean each FPN would rise to £150.

From February anyone spotted dropping litter by Cambridge City Council's enforcement officers now faces a FPN of £150, an increase of £75. That is reduced to £90 if they pay within 10 days of the fine being issued.

Ironically Fenland's enforcement rate is almost on a par with Cambridge City. In 2017/18 the city council's enforcement team issued 472 FPNs for littering, an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year.

Fenland's 442 FPNs breaks down to

- 347 for cigarette related (cigarette butts, packets and foil)

- 29 other litter i.e. crisp packets, bottles etc

- 60 spitting

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- 3 dog fouling

- 3 fly-tipping

(The three fly-tipping are thought to have been prosecutions rather than FPNs).

A council spokesman said: "With the survey, we're asking residents what they think to the enforcement action and how they rate the cleanliness of their town/village.

"We also would like to know whether residents they think people who drop litter should be fined more than the current FPN cost of £75, to match neighbouring councils."

The survey comes as part of FDC's Tidy Fenland community-driven campaign that calls upon residents to help crackdown on environmental crimes.

Visit surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KMM75GJ to have your say.

In May the council said the contract with their enforcement specialists Kingdom that came into force mid way through 2017 has been a success and is cost neutral.

Wisbech is a hot spot for targeting offenders and councillors were told recently that in November last year, for instance, of 50 tickets issued, the town attracted the bulk of them.

Of the 50 issued only five were handed out in March (all for parking offences) whilst in Wisbech 39 tickets were issued for dropping litter (including cigarette butts) and six for spitting. Chatteris and Whittlesey were ticket free zones.

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