All thirty nine were supposed to appear before Wolverhampton Magistrates Court, but only three turned up to the hearing. The three all admitted littering.
They had initially been given on-the-spot penalties of £75 each in August and September 2015, but failed to pay it. They have now been ordered to pay fines and costs of between £145 and £367. The thirty six people who did not appear at the hearings were ordered in their absence to pay between £365 and £367, including fines and costs, and given 28 days to pay.
Kingdom started providing environmental protection services in Wolverhampton on behalf of Wolverhampton City Council in August 2015 as part of the council’s new zero tolerance approach to littering and dog fouling in the city. Kingdom receives £45 of each of the fines, with the council retaining £30. The article announcing the service can be seen here.
The court case was reported in the Express and Star on Friday 22nd January 2016 under the headline “£3.3k fines imposed on Wolverhampton’s litter-lout smokers”. The article goes on to say: “The court heard that littering was an ongoing concern in the city and the council spent £2.5 million a year on keeping the streets clean, including around £1m on collecting cigarette ends.
“Wolverhampton council began a crackdown on littering, particularly the dropping of cigarette ends, in July last year. This changed the amount of the issued fines from £70, which would reduce to £50 if paid early, to a flat, fixed £75 fine.
“By mid-August, the amount collect by the council was £30,075 in penalties with 401 fixed penalty notices issued. Forty fines were dished out in the first ten days of the scheme and 3,420 fines have been issued in total so far since the scheme began.”
Commenting on the development, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “Dropping litter is a lazy, selfish and anti-social act and Wolverhampton residents have made it abundantly clear that they want us to tackle it. We know from the overwhelmingly positive response on social media to the arrival of our enforcement teams that people support our tough stance on litter.
“People who drop their rubbish on the floor face the very real risk of being caught and fined and if they don’t pay their fine we will take them to court as a last resort. We are working to create a cleaner, greener, better Wolverhampton and litter is not welcome.”
The Express & Star also reported on a court case back in November 2015, in an article entitled “Wolverhampton litter louts told to pay hundreds of pounds by court”, when ten people were summoned to appear at the court after refusing to accept their fines. Five people were then found guilty in their absence and ordered to pay £345. A further 40 cases are due to be heard on 3rd February 2016.
Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Division is led by experts with an ex-police and military background. The specialist teams deliver over 130,000 Environmental Protection hours per annum on behalf of local authorities around the UK. They tackle street litter, dog fouling and control orders, commercial and residential waste and waste disposal licence checks, smoking in prohibited areas, the illegal distribution of free material, criminal damage, graffiti, fly-tipping and posting.
For more information about Kingdom’s Environmental Protection services, please visit http://www.kingdom.co.uk/services/environmental-protection/ or call 0845 051 7702.