Dozens of Wigan motorists fined for littering

Littering - against the law
Littering - against the law

Dozens of penalty notices have been issued to car owners for littering offences, Wigan town hall has disclosed.

A tougher stance on environmental crime using new legislation has been enforced since October.

For the first time car owners can be held liable even if they are not in the vehicle at the time and are responsible for the actions of passengers.

A total of 67 FPNs – including fines of £120 – have been handed out since October 2, council bosses revealed.

Paul Barton, director for environment, said: “We are committed to reducing environmental crime and although we do adopt an education over enforcement approach in the first instance, we believe that implementing these fines ensures ‘the polluter pays’ and it will help prevent people from littering from their vehicles.

“Littering spoils our environment and can adversely affect local wildlife, it is also very expensive to clean up and dispose of.”

The council’s crackdown follows the introduction of new regulations that form part of a wider government strategy, introduced earlier this year, to tackle litter problems across the country.

Mr Barton added: “If all residents dispose of their litter responsibly and recycling their waste correctly we can keep council tax low. If residents witness environmental crime, we ask that they note key information such as time, location, vehicle registration or home address as this would help us with our investigations.”

Responsibility for issuing the FPNs lies with the council’s existing team of environmental officers as the town hall has previously said it will not be using CCTV to catch-out offending drivers.

Officers have said the fines will act as a deterrent to encourage “behaviour change”.

Council bosses in Salford have introduced a similar scheme and have agreed to hand out fines of £150, the maximum amount permitted, for littering from vehicles.