Litterbugs and polluters escaping fines

LESS than two fines are being imposed per week on litterlouts, dog foulers and noise polluters in Suffolk's heartland, it emerged today.Figures reveal just 47 fines have been issued by Ipswich Borough Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Babergh District Council since April last year.

LESS than two fines are being imposed per week on litterlouts, dog foulers and noise polluters in Suffolk's heartland, it emerged today.

Figures reveal just 47 fines have been issued by Ipswich Borough Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Babergh District Council since April last year.

The news comes the day after Andy Tierney, 24, was fined £50 for throwing two bits of junk mail in a Leicestershire litter bin. Another polluter, Teresa Webb, 30, also had an anti-social behaviour order imposed on her by Bath and North Somerset council for persistently playing Tony Christie's Is This the Way to Amarillo.

One council in Suffolk is now vowing to use covert surveillance to crackdown on litterbugs.


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Andrew Stringer, green party councillor for Mid Suffolk, said: “In Mid Suffolk it is difficult to catch people red handed but we have just bought some covert CCTV because if it wasn't for lack of evidence we would probably prosecute more.

“We really should prosecute more as it is very anti-social behaviour. We have got to get the message across that if people persist in dropping litter they will be caught and prosecuted.”

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A spokesman for Mid Suffolk District Council said: “We don't issue penalty notices for noise because we don't think it is worth it. The notices in this case only last until 7am the next morning so it isn't that useful. We instead use the Environment Protection Act remedy which lasts as long as the problem.

“Notices are available for dog fouling but none have been issued so far. The problem is you have to catch people in the act which is difficult in an area such as ours where the population is so spread out.”

Ipswich Borough Council has issued nine notices for dog fouling but has not issued a single one for littering.

Last month it said its litter enforcement team would be cracking down.

Babergh District Council has not issued a single fixed penalty notice in the past year.

Joanna Hart, its technical officer, said: “Babergh takes the problem of littering very seriously and has a number of ways of dealing with the problem.

“Any enforcement needs to be proportionate to the problem. Babergh has already launched formal proceedings for fly-tipping and councillors will soon have the chance to decide how they might wish to use fixed penalty fines available for littering and 12 other offences.”

Suffolk Coastal District Council has ordered the largest amount of notices throughout the year, largely for littering.

It is yet to enforce its powers for graffiti and flyposting but plans are in place to do so from April 1.

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www.defra.gov.uk

How would you look to see people who commit environmental crimes punished? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N Ipswich Borough Council:

Does not issue fixed penalty notices for noise, graffiti and flyposting and has yet to issue any for littering after introducing it to their plans in February.

It as served nine notices for dog fouling in the past year.

N Mid Suffolk District Council:

Does not issue fixed penalty notices for noise, but has served five notices for littering in the past year.

It said it does not have a problem with graffiti and flyposting because of the district's rural nature and has not issued any such notices

N Babergh District Council has not issued a single fixed penalty notice in the past year

N Suffolk Coastal District Council will be enforcing its powers for graffiti and flyposting fixed penalty notices from April 1. It has not issued any notices in the past year for noise, but has issued 32 for litter and one for dog fouling.

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