Litter louts across England have paid out more than £1.5 million in fines over the past year, according to new figures.
Pet owners caught letting their dogs foul the streets have also been hit hard in the pocket – with local authorities raking in more than £138,000 in fines.
Local authorities can issue fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for certain offences including littering, graffiti, abandoned vehicles and dog fouling.
Fines range from £50 to £80 and the figures show that £1,521,905 was collected from litter louts between April 2006 and March 2007.
The statistics also show that 43,624 FPNs were issued for litter last year – up 32% on the previous 12 months – while the percentage of fines being paid has risen to over 77%.
The Minister for Local Environment Quality, Jonathan Shaw, said: ‘Ask communities what concerns them most about the area they live in and litter is near the top of list. Residents are right to expect their council to take a tough stance.
‘I’m encouraged to see that more local authorities are using the powers government has provided to penalise people who are ruining our streets with thoughtless offences like littering.’
It’s an offence to drop litter – including cigarette butts and chewing gum – anywhere in England.
Ian Clayton, Deputy Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘It’s good to see that more fines have been issued and most importantly that more are being paid.
‘Our research has shown that the threat of a fine will encourage people not to litter, but people need to believe that they are going to get caught.
‘Fining is a crucial tool in achieving clean streets especially when coupled with campaigning and education.’