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yet another £80 cigarette dropping fine


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Earlier today as I was about to enter a shop I dropped my roll up on section of ground outside their entrance.

 

 

I was approached by an environmental office equipped with a video camera who proceeded to fine me.

 

 

I pointed out that it was on the shop's property but he said that it made no difference and that the wind might blow it onto the public highway.

 

 

Am I liable for the fine?

 

 

I appreciate that litter is a problem but by the time I have ground a roll up into the ground with the sole of my shoe, there is no visible evidence. His distraction prevented me from doing so on this occasion

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So you admit to littering but dont want to pay the price? The rules are there for a reason. Ciggarette buts are disgusting, ground up or not. Anyway.... If you want to challenge it, go for it. But don't expect to win. A lot of councils are clamping down on it big time lately. m,ainly due to a lot of people thinking they can throw their litter wherever they want, instead of in a bin.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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I certainly agree with the anti-smoking sentiment and the anti-littering sentiment – but from the point of view of fair application of the rules, it amazes me that it would be an offence to drop litter on private property.

 

I think that it is worth querying this but I'm not sure where you would go. I would start off by taking a picture of the place that you drop the cigarette, make sure that it is part of the property – or the "curtilage" of the property and establish that if it is part of the curtilage make sure that that is not taken as part of the public highway.

 

The inspectors comment to you there it might blow onto the public highway is ridiculous – and I hope you have made a note of it. If you haven't then do that now. Whether any witnesses to that statement?

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So you admit to littering but dont want to pay the price? The rules are there for a reason. Ciggarette buts are disgusting, ground up or not. Anyway.... If you want to challenge it, go for it. But don't expect to win. A lot of councils are clamping down on it big time lately. m,ainly due to a lot of people thinking they can throw their litter wherever they want, instead of in a bin.

 

Having a bad day?

 

I think this is a bit harsh and doesn't deal with the main issue.

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@renegadeimp

 

 

it was not a cigarette but. It was the end of a roll up. If it had been ground away to nothing then how could it be disgusting?

 

 

Besides, I am asking for advice as to whether the council has authority on the section of land directly outside the shop where they display their wares..

 

 

I am not in a particularly good mood and would rather not receive a lecture about smoking

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How do they know who you are to enforce any fine, particularly as (rightly or wrongly) you denied any wrongdoing?

"In every respect, he has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity"

Boris Johnson on Dominic Cummings' Covid field trips

 

£288 million pounds a week - The ADDITIONAL cost of Brexit customs bureaucracy alone - stuff that on the side of a bus.

 

Its official: Boris "unrepentant and inveterate liar" Johnsons' word

isn't worth the paper written on

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I do wish people would stop referring to these as fines. Only a court can fine you

 

They are civil penalty orders

 

I think you will find that you will be liable. Shops are allowed to put up stalls to show their wares outside as long as they do not cause an obstruction.

 

It is whats known as "Street Furniture" The same as a telephone box or litter bin for which the local authority will have full control over.

 

The issue will be where the highway boundary is. Does it end at the front door of the shop or meets the pavement for example.

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The land may be private property but the council can claim certain rights over it if certain conditions are met and these include accessibility from the highway (no step up and the contiguous land allows the council to be awkward when they feel like it), maintenance segregation by boundary (no defined boundary and the council can claim it is for them to decide who does what there (appeal court case about 4 years ago based on a dentist in Camden parking his moped on his own property where there was no differentiation between his land and the pavement, despite a basement underneath). Other areas which you would fall foul of the dreaded wardens would be garage forecourts, hedges and walls of all types that face onto the public highway, some graveyards/church doorways etc.

So, not as straightforward as it seems but if the land is provably someone else's the council will probably back down rather than spend a million proving themselves right BUT not always where there is money to be made....

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Why did you give your details to a civil enforcement officer?

They're only there to make a profit, using the guise of ''keeping out towns and cities clean''.

 

If you'd have picked it up and put it in the bin, then that would have been the end of the matter, camera or not.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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I would have considered just walking away..

 

And me, I don't give them the time of day round here, there's nothing they can do.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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So you admit to littering but dont want to pay the price? The rules are there for a reason. Ciggarette buts are disgusting, ground up or not. Anyway.... If you want to challenge it, go for it. But don't expect to win. A lot of councils are clamping down on it big time lately. m,ainly due to a lot of people thinking they can throw their litter wherever they want, instead of in a bin.

 

Putting things in context.

 

I do not smoke cigarettes with filters (ever). On the odd occasion that I purchase pre-rolled cigarettes with filters, I snap them off and (always, always,always) put them in my pocket.

 

A cigarette filter is typically 2 to 2.5cm long and most smokers tend to leave at least another 1 cm of paper/tobacco, resulting in (up to) 3.5 cm at 0.9 cm (diameter). That is (3.14x0.45x0.45x3.5) a total volume of 2.25cm cubed. A cigarette butt on its own would be (3.14x0.45x0.45x2.5) 1.59 cm cubed.

 

My roll up was approximately 1.2cm long at a diameter of 0.4cm, (incidentally the last third is void of tobacco). That makes a volume of (3.14X0.2x0.2x1.2) 0.15 cm cubed.

 

So I would have to discard 15 roll up "ends" to generate as much litter (by volume) as a standard cigarette butt. The key difference is that my "litter" does not persist.

 

To demonstrate my point I have taken photos of a roll up and a roll up after it has been ground under heal. Unfortunately I am not sure how to upload the images. I would be very surprised if you were able to spot any "litter" after the event.

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If you dropped the butt on private property there's nothing they can do.

I saw a guy making the same argument when he dropped a butt at the entrance of an underground station.

The enforcement officer wanted to give him the £80 charge but the guy told him to get lost as he was on private property.

He then proceeded to pass the gates with his ticket and gave the officer the middle finger.

On another occasion I saw another guy walking off and the officer grabbing him by the arm.

He threw himself on the floor screaming like he had been hit by a lorry.

Police and ambulance arrived and they cautioned the enforcement officer.

They then took him away in the police car.

Would it be rude to use the word "NICE"?

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Why did you give your details to a civil enforcement officer?

They're only there to make a profit, using the guise of ''keeping out towns and cities clean''.

 

If you'd have picked it up and put it in the bin, then that would have been the end of the matter, camera or not.

 

I did pick it up and put it in my pocket as soon as he mentioned it (there was no bin near by). He insisted that I had committed an offence and that picking it up made no difference.

 

He gave me the impression that he was an Ealing Council environmental officer. I have since discovered that he was probably working for private contractors called Kingdom Security. As of yesterday they have offered to hand penalties out to the "criminals" in Ealing in return for a slice off all penalties paid to Ealing council.

 

http://www.ealing.gov.uk/news/article/1347/council_launches_environmental_crackdown

 

He had no incentive to allow me to pick it up. The set up is akin to the private parking contractors that operate outside Ealing broadway tube station. Drivers picking up/dropping off passengers are allowed to pull on to the single yellow line but many pull into an empty parking bay to drop off, thinking that they are being civil minded/considerate. In the meantime the firm are surreptitiously photographing the cars rather than warning them.

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If you dropped the butt on private property there's nothing they can do.

I saw a guy making the same argument when he dropped a butt at the entrance of an underground station.

The enforcement officer wanted to give him the £80 charge but the guy told him to get lost as he was on private property.

He then proceeded to pass the gates with his ticket and gave the officer the middle finger.

On another occasion I saw another guy walking off and the officer grabbing him by the arm.

He threw himself on the floor screaming like he had been hit by a lorry.

Police and ambulance arrived and they cautioned the enforcement officer.

They then took him away in the police car.

Would it be rude to use the word "NICE"?

 

 

I am not certain if the property is private or not. The area was that outside the shop where they display their wares but perhaps it is indeed part of the pavement. I honestly don't know. There is a definitely line that seems to delineate the paving slabs laid by the council and the paving used by (what I assume is the freeholder).

 

Had i known that he was an employee of a private contractor, i might well have ignored him. That said, i didn't.

 

Ironically, after work, I popped into a Weatherspoon pub in Raynes Lane. It has tables and chairs in a section of the pavement that is cordoned off. There were no ashtrays.

 

Had I been in Ealing and he had seen me drop anything, I guess that he would have attempted to hand me a penalty.

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If you do not give your details when requested they will simply inform the old Bill to come and get your deails. If you do anything naughty or walk off they will radio CCTV and track you until the old bill arrive.

 

I did think that might be the case. I was walking in to a shop, and would have exit via the entry.

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I guess that there are some people here that consider that I got my just deserts.

 

My GF has done some research on my behalf and seems to think that one can not appeal against the penalty. You can reserve the right to go to court though, which is probably more money than I can afford to lose.

 

AFAIK the penalty is a fixed £80, with no discount for paying early and not contesting the charge, unlike parking infractions.

 

Is this standard practice? Or is it more likely to be the case that the private enforcement firm would not be interested in lower penalty charges.

 

Additionally is anyone aware of any other councils that use these kind of firms to hand out litter penalty charge notices.

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If you do not give your details when requested they will simply inform the old Bill to come and get your deails. If you do anything naughty or walk off they will radio CCTV and track you until the old bill arrive.

 

Imagine the call to 999:

"Hello, i am a private contactor milking money off innocent citizens.

One of them dropped a whole gram of tobacco wrapped around the end of a rizla paper and when challenged he picked it up and walked off"

Operator: "the armed team is in the way"

 

Come on guys... Police don't have time for this sort of rubbish.

They're already stretched as it is, they won't give any priority to such calls.

 

If they happen to pass by they might intervene, but given that you had picked the butt and were probably on private property, they would have probably let you go.

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You people are totally missing the point

 

The street warden has full authority on the matter as he will be acting under the full authority of the Local Authority.

 

Dropping the Cigarette will be tecnically an offence like a council parking ticket and enforced the same way. For the local authority to be abe to do this action they would have instigated a new Bye law. That is secondary or delegated legislation.

 

People need to take this serious as it is not just some jobs worth, it has the full power of local Government behind it

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Well according to the following I am bang to rights (assuming that the following is correct or that I have understood it).

 

http://kb.keepbritaintidy.org/smokinglitter/legislation/legis.pdf

 

CNEA Section 18: Extension of Litter Offence to all Places

Section 18 of the CNEA extends the scope of the offence of littering, so that it is an offence to drop

litter anywhere in the open air in the area of a principal litter authority regardless of the ownership

of the land. This removes the previous loophole where a person could be fined for dropping litter

on the pavement, but could not be fined for throwing it into an adjacent private garden.

 

I think that means that dropping a cigarette anywhere outdoors is an offence, which presumably would include my own garden, a pub garden and so on.

 

What are the litter laws?

It is a criminal offence for a person to drop, throw down, or otherwise deposit and then leave litter.

The offence of littering is covered in Sections 87 and 88 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA)

1990. This act has been updated and amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment

Act (CNEA) 2005 to make it clearer that it the term ‘litter’ now includes smoking related litter and

other discarded items such as chewing gum. The CNEA has also amended the existing legislation

so that the offence of littering now applies to all places that are open to the air, including both

private and public land and water.

 

"and then leave litter"? As soon as the agent saw me drop it he grabbed my attention, I was still standing over it. Once he mentioned it, I picked it up. Am I legally obliged to prove that had no intention of leaving an item as litter, or does his organisation have to prove that I intended to leave it? and had I been left to grind it away until it became virtually invisible to the human eye, is it still litter?

 

"It is a criminal offence"- So I am now a criminal?

 

The authorised officer intending to issue a fixed penalty notice can request the offender’s name

and address. It is an offence for that person to fail to provide these details, or to provide a false or

inaccurate name and address. Failure to give correct details can result in a fine of up to £1,000

 

Well they can't chuck that at me

 

The following lays out DEFRA's guidance to local authorities

 

http://www.cleanhighways.co.uk/legislation/guidance-on-the-use-of-fixed-penalty-notices

 

Defra recommend that agents should wear hi-visibility jackets, that those accused should be cautioned. The guy had a black coat, he didn't caution me but did tell me twice that he was recording me.

 

Defra do not stipulate that there has to be an informal appeals process.

 

Failure to give correct details is a criminal offence, however (even though I did) I did not legally have to provide proof of ID or my date of birth

 

And again we go back to the question of intent

 

In addition information should be recorded which would answer the following questions considered necessary to prove an offence was committed:

 

Was a person witnessed littering?

Did they drop, throw down or otherwise deposit litter?

What was littered?

Was the person identified as the person who dropped the litter?

Was the location where they dropped litter an area where it is an offence to litter, for example, an area which is open to the air?

Having littered, did they leave it?

Did the person who was witnessed littering have the permission of the landowner to do so?

Was the person of a suitable age to be issued with a fixed penalty notice?

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Well whatever you decide to do, you should pay the fine, which will no doubt go into the LA's profit pocket, as these private companies are only paid by their results.

 

You did get a jobsworth, but it's not in their financial interests to walk over to you and ask you to pick it up and place it in a bin.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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After having replayed the incident in my head. I honestly believe that he intentionally grabbed my attention to distract me from either stubbing it out with my shoe and then picking it up or grinding it into oblivion. I was still standing over it at all times.

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