A resident who caught people throwing rubbish out of a car on CCTV cameras is furious they are not being prosecuted.
Nick Fearn, of Windermere Street, Whelley, initially noticed on CCTV that a car had parked at the rear of his property, on Essex Street.
He said: “I saw a car reverse up to my garden gate. It stayed there for about half an hour.
“In that time the four people in the car threw all their rubbish out of the four windows.”
It included drink cans, food trays and wrappers like those used by chip shops.
Mr Fearn, a self-employed electrician, shouted at them to clear it up from a window, but did not think they had heard him.
When he went outside, they swore at him, so he told them he had caught the incident on CCTV cameras.
Mr Fearn said: “One of them said, ‘Do what you want, I’ll come back and stab you.’”
He told police what had happened and they said they would treat it as a public order offence and speak to those involved.
He was advised to contact Wigan Council about the rubbish and reported it the following day.
Mr Fearn handed over the CCTV footage, which shows the white Nissan Juke and its registration number but not the people involved.
But he has now been told the council cannot prosecute anyone.
If a car is caught speeding the registered keeper can be compelled to identify the driver, but this cannot be done for littering.
Mr Fearn said: “They are saying the law doesn’t allow them to go to the driver and find out who was in the car that day.”
The council has written to the owner of the car, but Mr Fearn remains disappointed that no-one is being prosecuted.
He said: “I want them to make a point of saying they can’t do this, they can’t get away with it.
“But what they have said is there’s nothing they can do.”
Council chiefs say that while they understand Mr Fearn’s frustration but say the law as it stands prevents them from taking action.
Paul Barton, the council’s assistant director for environmental services, said: “We appreciate the trouble Mr Fearn has gone to in sending us footage and details of people who have been littering.
"Littering is a huge drain on our resources and is a blight on our borough.
"We appreciate any resident who takes a stand against this. We are taking action as a result of his efforts by writing to the registered keeper of the vehicle to inform them that the incident has been logged on our system and enforcement action will be considered if there are any further incidents.
"Unfortunately the legislation which compels the registered keeper to tell us who committed the littering, similar to the law on speeding, has not been enacted which means we are currently powerless to bring a prosecution.”
“While we understand Mr Fearn is disappointed by this outcome we are frustrated as well and we hope the legislation is brought in soon to allow us to enforce this unacceptable behaviour.”
It is understood that lobbying, including from Keep Britain Tidy, is taking place to encourage the government to put the law in place that would enable a prosecution.