Tougher fines introduced to tackle environmental crime


Photo: Creative Commons

The fines for littering, graffiti, and handing out leaflets without permission have been increased from £80 to £100, by Hillingdon council.

Anyone who fails to pay their fine within 14 days can also be taken to court and charged up to £2,500.

Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration, Douglas Mills, said: "These offences might not seem serious to the people who commit them, but they blight residents' lives and are hugely detrimental to our neighbourhoods.”

This is part of Hillingdon Council’s new zero-tolerance approach to littering and environmental crime following the introduction of new laws which allow local authorities in England and Wales to set fixed penalty rates for certain offences, as well as lifting restrictions how they can spend the money.

Cllr Mills added: “We hope that the threat of a heftier fine or an appearance in court might just make someone stop and think before they act."

Last year 3,900 fines were paid in Hillingdon and the majority were £80 fines for offences such as littering and graffiti.

Previously if someone paid their fine within 10 days they would receive a £30 discount, that has now been reduced to £15.

The council say these changes will help to offset additional costs they incur when taking non-payers to court and any additional income will go back into running anti-social behaviour services.

Chair of Brunel’s Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society, Philippa Gill, said: This is only a 20% increase in the minimum fine. More can always be done to reduce littering, but it’s whether the public want this.

“I would suggest the fines to go towards education programs in schools and public institutions to let the public know about the dangers of littering, as well as the detrimental effects of plastic waste on our planet.”

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