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Fines for region's litterbugs soar in three years

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The number of fines issued to litterbugs by councils has soared in the past three years, figures have revealed.

Local authorities have handed out hundreds of on-the-spot penalties after wardens caught them in the act of dropping rubbish and litter on to the streets.

Wolverhampton City Council has issued 484 fines between 2010 and the end of 2012, bringing in £18,790.

There were 28 fines issued over the same period in Walsall, but 21 of those were between April and December last year alone.

The council has made £640 but was left chasing £400 in fines for 2010-2012 after people failed to pay.

Dudley Council issued 387 fines, making £50,076, while Cannock Chase issued 245 fines. Of those, 136 were handed out between April and December last year. The council made £7,790 but £2,460 remained unpaid.

Councillor George Adamson, leader of Cannock Chase Council, said: "It's not about raising money.

"I'd be happy if we never had to issue another penalty again because it would mean people were not dropping litter.

"It's something we get complaints about and that's why we decided last year that we would get tougher and start cracking down on this sort of behaviour. No-one wants to see our towns looking a mess."

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Lichfield has only recently started using its powers and only gave out two fines between April and December last year, making £120.

South Staffordshire handed out 28 tickets and made £1,375. The council gives a discount if paid within 10 days, if not, then full £75 payment required.

But latest figures show that the litter fines hotspot of the West Midlands – Sandwell – has bucked the trend with a drop in numbers.

In Sandwell 3,972 fines were issued between 2010 and 2012 but between April and December last year just three were issued.

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The council has made £137,385 in litter fines over three years but £85,107 was outstanding at the end of 2012. The council said the amount represented "cases that have been closed for various acceptable reasons".

Councillor Ian Jones said: "The figures have dropped because we have moved on to a policy of educating people about the problems of dropping little. The award-winning Tipton Litter

Watch is constantly in schools educating children from an early ago the need to dispose of little in a sensible way.

"And the council is working with community groups all over the borough to impress upon people to be more litter conscious."

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