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You dropped your cigarette butt sir – that’ll cost you £860!

Waltham Forest Council’s ‘Don’t Mess with Waltham Forest’ campaign, that is coming down hard on individuals who commit enviro-crimes in the borough, achieved a notable success last week.

Robert Andrezej Duleba, 39, of Brownding Road, E12 was spotted by Council Enforcement Officers dropping a cigarette butt in Walthamstow High Street on 13 September last year.

The offender refused to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) issued to him and as a result the matter was progressed for prosecution to Thames Magistrates Court on 21 February.

In an endorsement of the action of the Council that showed some robustness, Magistrates increased the fine from the £80 FPN to £400. They also awarded costs of £420 against Mr Duleba and included a Victim Surcharge of £40, making a total bill of £860.

“I’m delighted that the Magistrates have agreed with us that simply tossing a cigarette butt into the street is not acceptable,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.

“I would suggest anyone who is in the habit of doing that might think twice now knowing that at the least they will be hit with an £80 FPN, and at worst they could be over £800 out of pocket over just a single cigarette butt.

“Ultimately we have almost 1,500 litter bins in the borough that people can easily make use of and so throwing any litter in the street is really inexcusable. In short, it’s lazy, disrespectful and sets a bad example, and for this individual, it is also very expensive.”

The news comes a month after the Council celebrated a third successful prosecution against someone spitting in a public place. A year ago Waltham Forest Council became the first local authority in the country to introduce Fixed Penalty Notices for spitting and urination.

Since that time 61 FPNs have been handed out for spitting and urination, and three successful prosecutions have been brought. Other Councils around the country have now followed Waltham Forest’s lead in using littering powers to punish this sort of offence.

To find out more about the Council’s, ‘Don’t mess with Waltham Forest’ campaign visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/dontmess. Report an enviro-crime by visiting www.walthamforest.gov.uk/report-it or phone Waltham Forest Direct on 0208 8496 3000.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.