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Litter-lout smokers hit by £800k fines after stubbing out their cigarettes

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Thousands of smokers have been left gasping after being hit by fines totalling more than £800,000 in the past 17 months – for stubbing out their cigarettes in the street.

A jaw-dropping 10,789 people have been ordered to pay at least £75 each for the offence in a Wolverhampton City Council-inspired crackdown on litter louts.

They represent almost 93 per cent of the 11,612 total of those ordered to pay on-the-spot fines since August last year when a hit squad of enforcers from Kingdom Security Ltd was recruited by the authority.

By comparison, Sandwell Council has fined just 10 people for dropping litter over the past 12 months and a mere 11 fixed penalty notices have been issued by Stafford Borough Council since April this year.

The authority in Wolverhampton had fined only 50 people in the two years before the drive was launched in August 2015.

Walsall Council recently made a similar move and has handed out 133 fixed penalty notices since October this year, when a contract started with private company 3GS to combat littering in the borough. There have been 114 people fined in Dudley this year.

The Wolverhampton crackdown is part of the Council's 'Cleaner Greener Better' campaign in response to pleas from residents. There is no cost to the council.

Kingdom keep a share of the fines while the remainder is invested back into the battle to deal with other environmental issues in the city. Exact figures are regarded as commercially sensitive and have not been made public.

A Wolverhampton Council Council spokesperson, said: "Dropping litter is selfish and anti-social. These figures make clear that if you do that in Wolverhampton you run the very real risk of being landed with a £75 fine."

Other litter louts made to pay included 576 people fined for throwing fast food wrappers, empty cans and such like in the street, 176 for dropping food, 24 for leaving flyers and leaflets in the road and 47 for allowing their dog to foul the footpath.

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