South Gloucestershire Council secured successful prosecutions at Bristol Magistrates Court on Monday 20 February after street enforcement officers caught three people littering on local high streets.
Sarah Hopkins of High Street, Staple Hill, was ordered to pay a total of £867after street enforcement officers observed her throw a cigarette down a drain on Staple Hill High Street. Officers spoke to her and she was handed a fixed penalty notice (FPN). A subsequent check revealed that she had made no effort to make any payment against the penalty, so the case was progressed to the court. Hopkins failed to attend Bristol Magistrates Court and was found guilty in her absence and handed a £220 fine, ordered to pay £559 in costs and an £88 victim surcharge, totaling £867.
Sam Murphy, of Downend Road, Kingswood, was ordered to pay a total of £867 after street enforcement officers saw him discard a drinks can on Regent Street in Kingswood. He was handed an FPN and because he made no attempt to pay the penalty, the case was progressed to court. Murphy failed to attend Bristol Magistrates Court and was found guilty in his absence and handed a £220 fine, ordered to pay £559 in costs and an £88 victim surcharge, totaling £867.
Charles Holly, of Gill Avenue, Fishponds, was ordered to pay a total of £850 after officers observed him throw a cigarette down a drain on Moravian Road, Kingswood. When challenged about the offence, he accepted his actions and was handed a FPN. However, he failed to make any payment against the FPN so the case was progressed to court. Holly failed to attend Bristol Magistrates Court and was found guilty in his absence and handed a £220 fine, ordered to pay £542 in costs and an £88 victim surcharge, totaling £850.
Councillor Rachael Hunt, cabinet member responsible for environmental enforcement at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “These individuals were all caught in the act of littering yet made no effort to pay the fixed penalties handed to them, so their cases were brought before the court.
“Discarded litter such as cans and cigarette ends are an unsightly blight on our high streets and environment. We all have a responsibility to dispose of our litter correctly and there is no excuse for carelessly discarding waste and expecting others to clean it up.
“Cans or smoking litter should be placed in the bins provided or taken home. There is a common misconception that by throwing cigarette ends down the drain that is somehow a lesser thing to do than throwing it on the ground. However, both instances constitute littering with those thrown down drains eventually making their way into water courses and potentially even the sea, and it can take between 18 months and 10 years for the component parts of a cigarette end to decompose.”
Littering and other anti-social offences can be reported by visiting www.southglos.gov.uk/report