Ealing Council Issues Third Highest Number of Litter Fines in UK

More than a million pounds raised in a year

Leader of Ealing Council Peter Mason and Cllr Deirdre Costigan with borough enforcement officers Leader of Ealing Council Peter Mason and Cllr Deirdre Costigan with borough enforcement officers

November 8, 2023

Research has shown that Ealing Council issues the third highest number of fines for littering out of all the local authority areas in the country.

During the most recent financial year, 8,476 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were handed out which, if all were paid, would have brought in a total of £1,271,400. The council says it has a 99% success rate in prosecuting people in magistrates’ courts for unpaid fines.

The number of FPNs which are issued by the council’s contractor, Kingdom, is up by 17% on the previous year putting the borough behind only Lambeth and the City of Manchester according to new research by litter campaigners Clean Up Britain.

The civil enforcement officers are supposed to use body worn cameras and inform people they are issuing FPNs to why they are receiving them. The ten ask for person’s ID and issue an FPN of £150 which, unlike parking fines, is not reduced for prompt payment. Failing to comply with the officer or giving false information is a further offence under the Environmental Protection Act according to the council.

It has been suggested by some residents that civil enforcement officers choose soft targets such as families and older people and ignoring more serious littering from people who might resist handing over their details. Last year a woman says she was given an FPN in Ealing for accidentally dropping a very small piece of paper. The Local Government Ombudsman has also received a number of complaints about FPNs issued by Kingdom.

In response to these complaints, Ealing Council has said that it is committed to ensuring that FPNs are issued fairly and consistently.

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, Ealing Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said, “Residents in Ealing are proud of where they live and keeping our streets clean is a priority for us. We won’t let a small minority spoil things for the rest of us, so we’re pleased to be officially recognised as one of the toughest boroughs in the country when it comes to cracking down on people who drop litter.

“Fining people who drop litter goes hand in hand with our work to educate residents and visitors on the impact of these offences.”

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