Smoker to pay over £400 for dropped cigarette butt

A man spotted dropping a cigarette butt in the city centre has been ordered to pay a total of £420.

City Council officers can hand out on the spot £80 fines to anyone they spot dropping litter, but anyone who refuses to pay this can be taken to court.

Christopher Lear, aged 34 and of Carisbrook Street, Harpurhey, was fined £160 with £240 costs and a £20 victims of crime surcharge.

On Friday 18 July 2014 a Manchester City Council enforcement officer operating in Piccadilly Gardens witnessed Lear drop his cigarette butt to the ground and walk away.

The officer stopped Lear, produced their identification and explained that his action constituted the offence of littering.

Lear gave his details and accepted a fixed penalty notice, but the City Council took him to court after he didn’t pay the fine, despite being sent a reminder letter. Lear failed to turn up to the hearing and the case was proved in his absence.

In addition to the council officers a dedicated team of litter busters, who started working in the city centre in November 2014, have been handing out on the spot fines to people seen dropping cigarette butts, coffee cups, burger wrappers and other items.

City Council officers and civil enforcement officers will continue to hand out the notices, while around 25 PCSOs have also received additional training to look out for litter bugs.

The City Council has installed nearly 700 new litter bins and 20 recycling bins in the city centre as part of a major campaign urging residents and visitors to take responsibility and not drop litter.

Cllr Kevin Peel said:

"We welcome this no messing approach from the council. There is no excuse for this individual or anyone else to drop cigarette butts or any litter on the street when there are bins with an external ashtray nearby.

"City Council officers, working with our dedicated team of litter busters in the city centre, are constantly on the look-out for people dropping their waste in our streets. They will not hesitate to issue on the spot fines to people they see doing this."


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