Cheshire East Council has successfully prosecuted nine people for litter offences in the last week with fines and costs imposed totalling more than £3,500.
The prosecutions were the first to be taken to court since the council started a crackdown in September, which followed the launch of the Crewe neighbourhood action plan – a pilot project to tackle the issues of littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling in the town.
Eight defendants, Mark Sutcliffe, Jack Rutter, Andrei Ciuciumis, Sophie Nesbit, Alison Ralphs, Oktavia Maciejewska, Suresh Baines and Matthew Egan, failed to respond to the summons and were convicted in absence. Each was fined £220, ordered to pay costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Kimberley Phipps pleaded guilty by letter and was fined £120, ordered to pay costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
The prosecutions are in addition to fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued by the council. Since October 1, 4,234 FPNs have been issued as follows;
· Littering – 4,116;
· Dog fouling – 24;
· Fly-tipping – 28 (including duty of care); and
· Other (including abandoned vehicles) 66.
Cheshire East’s payment rate for FPNs is more than 80 per cent. In the last two months, 18 formal warnings have been issued and there have been 58 educational visits.
Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for health and communities, said: “We are being serious when we say that we will find and prosecute those who have a lack of care for our local area.
“The rigorous evidence-based approach we started in the autumn is now starting to pay off with successful prosecutions.
“It takes time to investigate, compile a court case and ensure that the evidence holds up to scrutiny by the defence. We have many more cases in process for environmental crime, including litter and fly-tipping offences.
“Most residents do their bit and help to keep Cheshire East a beautiful and clean place to live. We owe it to them to crack down on those who don’t.”
While enforcement is being taken very seriously, Cheshire East is also working hard with local communities to raise awareness of issues and provide advice to people.
This has involved working with local volunteers and groups to help look after the borough through supporting events, such as the Great British Spring Clean.
Fly-tipping, dropping litter and dog fouling are all environmental crimes which can be reported online at: cheshireeast.gov.uk/environment or by ringing 0300 123 5011. The website also contains lots of information to help residents with their waste and recycling.