£300 fine for dropping litter

A woman who was taken to court by Hart District Council for throwing a cigarette butt on the floor has been fined £300.

The woman pled guilty at Portsmouth Magistrate’s Court in May after viewing video footage of herself dropping a cigarette butt and leaving it behind outside Hart Shopping Centre, Fleet in September 2021. She was fined £300, including a victim surcharge of £39 and legal cost of £131.

Cllr Alan Oliver, Cabinet Member for Environment at Hart District Council, said: “Taking someone to court is always a last resort for us, however, we need to also be firm in saying that litter will not be tolerated within the district.

“The individual was issued with a fixed penalty notice by an Environmental Enforcement Officer in September 2021. She said she was not guilty through the whole process and failed to pay the £75 on the spot fine. It wasn’t until the day in court when she was shown video footage of the incident where she then pled guilty. By not owning up to her actions earlier, it resulted in being escalated to the court and incurring more costs.

“I would urge everyone to take responsible actions in making sure we continue to keep Hart a clean and welcoming environment for all to enjoy.”

The Environmental Enforcement Officers can issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £75 for anyone caught littering, including cigarette butts and chewing gum, and £50 for anyone failing to clean up after their dog. A fixed penalty notice is issued under the Environmental Protection Act Section 87 and 88b in respect of low-level environmental crime.

For more information about littering and fixed penalty notices, please visit www.hart.gov.uk/litter