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Dropping cigarette butts can earn you a fine or a court appearance

Smokers who drop cigarette butts are fined

Another group of smokers caught dropping cigarette butts on Canterbury’s streets have been fined.

The city council prosecuted seven people caught by enforcement officers discarding butts in public places.

They were handed fines and costs totalling more than £2,000 when their cases were heard at Canterbury Magistrates Court.

The cases were brought when each defendant failed to pay an £80 fixed penalty notice for littering.

Cllr Neil Baker, the council’s communities chairman, said: “These cases show we will not hesitate to prosecute those who litter our streets no matter what they leave on the pavement or in the gutter.

Cllr Neil Baker: Cigarette butts are toxic

“Research shows many smokers do not consider discarding their butts as littering and think they are just an easy target for our officers.

“But cigarette butts are highly toxic and are laced with chemicals like arsenic, acetone, lead, formaldehyde and pesticides.

“The butts themselves take years to break down and the filters are made from plastic fibres called cellulose acetate adding to the world’s plastic problem.

“One cigarette end might seem insignificant but added together they amount to tonnes of rubbish and cost council taxpayers enormous amounts of money to clear up.”

Those prosecuted were:

  • Andrew Benzies, 49, of Brickfield Close, Bridge, who was found guilty in his absence and fined £220. He was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
  • Philip Birch, 62, of Tudor Road, Canterbury, who was found guilty in his absence and fined £220. He was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
  • Francis Gnanjeyarajah, 21, of Parham Road, Canterbury, who was found guilty in his absence and fined £220. He was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
  • Codey Malone, 30, of River Bend Close, Canterbury, who was found guilty in his absence and fined £220. He was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
  • Jacob Wells, 21, of St Martins Road, Canterbury, who was found guilty in his absence and fined £220. He was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
  • Tony Gill, 21, of Riverview, Sturry, who pleaded guilty by post and was fined £147. He was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
  • Guy Carroll, 42, The Avenue, Hersden, appeared in court to plead guilty. He was given a conditional discharge, ordered to pay £60 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
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One response to “Smokers who drop cigarette butts are fined”

  1. Robert Sheridan says:

    I’ve no doubt that there will be some folk who’ve read this article, winced a little and thought “ooh, that’s a bit harsh, as they only threw fag butts on the ground.” No it isn’t!
    For fag butts read, chip wrappers, drinks cans, lager bottles etc etc. Canterbury’s not exactly short of litter bins and yet a stupid and thoughtless minority insist on using the city’s streets as their own person rubbish dump.

    Enough is enough and if CCC’s much-vaunted war on littering, graffiti and other antisocial activity is to have any meaning, or any chance of success, then the opening shots have to be fired somewhere.

    Those named and shamed in this article were well and truly banged to rights and hopefully, will have learned their lesson. Other potential litterers, as a result, may be deterred from similar behaviour and will go and find/use a bin, as and when they need to. It’s hardly a Herculean task to do this. Not much is really being asked of anyone is it?

    Apart from being an unhealthy, disgusting habit anyway, smokers need to realise that the majority of people in the UK don’t want to wade through their fag butts, any more than we want to breathe in their second hand smoke. If you can’t quit smoking, then at least minimise the impact of your habit and make the effort to get rid of your fag butts in the proper place.

    Well done CCC. Next stop, spat out chewing gum and those who insist on smearing it all over chairs, tables, park benches and the streets.

    Nick ’em, name ’em and shame ’em. Ideally, also give ’em the opportunity to clear up some gobbed out gum. That’ll get ’em up close and friendly with just how unsavoury spitting out gum really is.

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