How a £75 fine for throwing a cigarette butt into the street rocketed to £320

Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council - Credit: Archant

Throwing away a cigarette butt in the street has cost a March man £320, following a prosecution brought by Fenland District Council.

Michael Smith, aged 26, of Station Road, March, was issued with a £75 fixed penalty notice for littering by one of the council’s Street Scene officers last August. He had been spotted dropping the cigarette in Norfolk Street, Wisbech.

The council decided to prosecute after Smith failed to make any payment, despite several reminders and phone calls.

When the case was heard at King’s Lynn Magistrates Court, Smith failed to attend. In his absence magistrates imposed a £150 fine, together with £150 costs and £20 victim surcharge.

It means Smith now has to fork out £245 more than he would have done if he had paid the original £75 penalty.


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The council’s enforcement team has issued 87 fixed penalty notices for littering, dog fouling or parking offences across the district in the past year.

More than half of all litter dropped each day in Fenland is cigarette-related.

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