Five people have been taken to court for dropping litter

Enforcers lay down the law to litterbugs

Five people caught dropping litter or urinating on the district’s streets have been fined by city magistrates.

They were caught by enforcement officers on patrol as Canterbury City Council takes a hard line against anyone caught littering or urinating in public.

The court cases come as the authority prepares to discuss increasing its litter fines to £150.

Cllr Neil Baker, chairman of its community committee, said: “Some will say it’s over the top to fine someone for a cigarette butt or a sweet wrapper, but if people drop hundreds of them, a fantastic place to live, work in and visit soon becomes unattractive and ugly.

Canterbury Magistrates’ Court in Broad Street

“We are taking a hard line because we want littering and urinating in the street to stop. Why should the rest of us suffer because of someone else’s laziness?”

Tomorrow (Wednesday) the community committee will debate whether fines for littering should be increased to £150, cut to £100 if people pay within 14 days.

Councillors will also discuss whether to introduce a new fixed penalty notice where drivers can be held liable for litter thrown from their vehicle, whether thrown by a driver or a passenger.

Evidence from CCTV cameras would be able to be used as well as reports from members of the public if they are prepared to make a statement.

At present fines are £80. Five people who failed to pay have found themselves in court. They are:

Joseph Todd, 20, of George Roche Road, Canterbury, who dropped a cigarette in St George’s Street, Canterbury. He was fined £220 in his absence and told to pay a victim surcharge of £22.

Susan Fitzgerald, 50, of Woodville Close, Canterbury, who dropped a cigarette at the bus station in Canterbury. She was fined £220 in her absence and told to pay a victim surcharge of £22.

Tanya Banger, 26, of Falcon Road, Rochester, who dropped a cigarette down the drain in Watling Street, Canterbury. She was fined £220 in her absence and told to pay a victim surcharge of £22.

Ryan Harris, 26, of Eaton Road, Margate, who dropped a cigarette near William Street, Herne Bay. He was fined £220 in his absence and told to pay a victim surcharge of £22.

Kel Ofondu, 59, of Hertford Court, Warwick Road, Canterbury, pleaded guilty to urinating in Longport Car Park and refusing to provide his details. He was fined £197 and told to pay a victim surcharge of £22.

Enforcement officers have issued more than 320 fixed penalty fines for littering, flyposting and graffiti in the last three months.

The community committee meets in the Guildhall at 7pm tomorrow.

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