Harlow woman fined over £500 for one dropped cigarette

News / Wed 9th Apr 2014 at 10:17am

LITTERING has proven costly for one Harlow resident who has been fined £200 and order to pay over £300 in costs.

On the 25th November 2013 Natasha Watts of The Readings was caught throwing a cigarette butt onto the floor and failed to pick it up. She was approached by members of Harlow Council’s Community Safety Team and was given a fixed penalty notice of £80 for the offence.

Ms. Watts was given time to pay the notice. After ignoring several reminders and making no contact with the Council the matter was taken to court. The case was heard at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Tuesday 1 April 2014. Ms. Watts failed to appear and was found guilty in her absence; she was fined £200, ordered to pay court costs of £292 and a victim surcharge of £20 – a total of £512.

A Council spokesperson said: “Dropping a cigarette butt is not a petty act as it contributes hugely to the amount of litter on our streets. Cigarette butts on our streets are common and they are extremely difficult to clear up; litter picking costs both time and Council taxpayers’ money.

“Keeping the streets clean is important to residents so we will take action against anyone who makes our town untidy. There is no excuse for dropping litter, including cigarettes, when there are plenty of litter bins around especially in places like the town centre.”

Residents can help with the Council’s crackdown on litter by reporting litterbugs to Contact Harlow on (01279) 446655 or by email: [email protected]

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