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Kingdom welcomes changes to litter fine rules

litter-bug-1-1481737Kingdom has welcomed the news that, from next year, there are going to be changes to the rule when it comes to littering fines, following a review that has been carried out by the government.

Last week it was announced that littering fines are to rise following a review by the government department DEFRA – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The review was part of a public consultation on England’s Litter Strategy.

From April 2018, the minimum on-the-spot fine that can be issued for dropping litter will increase from £50 to £65, whilst the maximum on-the-spot fine that can be issued will increase from £80 to £150. The default figure is currently £75, and this will rise to £100 from April.

DEFRA has told councils to consider local circumstances when deciding on the level of fines, and will issue additional guidance around the beginning of next year.

As well as this increase, we are very pleased that the law will change so that motorists can be prosecuted when litter is thrown from their cars, regardless of who was responsible for throwing it. Therefore, even if someone else threw the litter out of the vehicle, it will still be the responsibility of the vehicle’s owner.

The changes were announced by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Dr Therese Coffey, who said the government was making the changes to ensure that “perpetrators, not the local community” pay the £800million it costs each year to keep our roads clean.

Making the announcement, Dr Coffey said: “Littering blights our communities, spoils our countryside and taxpayers’ money is wasted cleaning it up.

“Throwing rubbish from a vehicle is just as unacceptable as dropping it in the street, and we will tackle this antisocial behaviour by hitting litter louts in the pocket.

“These new fines will make sure the perpetrators, not the local community, bear the cost of keeping our streets and roads clean.”

We agree with the statement that was issued last week by Martin Tett, the spokesperson on the environment for the Local Government Association, who described the announcements as a “hugely positive step in the right direction”, and went on to say:

“Allowing councils to fine the owners of vehicles which litter is thrown from, rather than expecting councils to prove who exactly in the vehicle had thrown litter, is also something that the LGA has long called for. It is great that from April, councils will be able to get tough with the anti-social minority who think our roads are a repository for rubbish.

“We now need to see more detail in the forthcoming Government guidance. Whilst recognising that any action must be proportionate, it must also be robust to deter abuse of the local environment.

“It is frequently the more deprived communities that suffer most from litter louting and where the demand for more enforcement is loudly heard. Local authorities are keen to get on with the job of tackling anti-social litter louts, and delivering local environments that our residents can be proud of.”

Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Division is led by experts with an ex-police and military background and delivers over 270,000 Environmental Protection hours each year on behalf of local authorities up and down the UK. They issue fixed penalty notices to offenders who are seen breaking the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in streets, parks and open spaces to reduce anti-social behaviour.

To find out more about Kingdom’s Environmental Protection service, please call 0845 051 7702 or visit http://www.kingdom.co.uk/services/environmental-protection/