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£50 fine for dropping cigarette end!


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A couple of weeks ago the girlfriend and I were doign some shopping for our summer holiday, I had loads of bags and she wanted to go into another shop quickly so I said I'd wait outside and have a smoke while she was in there.

 

So ... finished my smoke and stubbed out out on the ground (as everyone does) and went to go into the shop when I get a hand on my sholder, turned around and there what at first appears to be 2 police officers ask me to step to the side and advised that they had been watching me and are issuing a £50 fine for dropping my cigarette end on the ground.

 

They were completely unreasonable, I offered to pick it up there and then and go and find a bin to put in in as to be honest I never actually realised that it was an offence to put out a fag end on the ground (do they expect me to chuck a lit fag into a bin??) but they were having none of it and were actually quite rude. They asked my name and address and I gave it to them and it was then I realised that they were not Police at all the uniform was slightly different and on the back of one of the chaps jackets was "Litter Enforcement Officer" lol :p

 

By this time it was too late, I had given them my details and was handed a fixed penalty notice giving me 14 days to cough up £50, thing was I was leaving for a fortnight in Rhodes the next day so its not been paid and I do not intend paying it either.

 

Couple of questions someone may be able to help with:

 

1. On the notice there's an area for them to cross out Police Officer / Enforcement Officer which they have not done, obviously this is to identify then as one of the other.

 

2. The guy spelt the name of the street wrong, its spelt Sauchiehall Street and he spelt it Suchiehall ...

 

Do you think either of these 2 mistakes would be sufficent reason to have the notice withdrawn if you like?

 

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You should have picked up your dog end and put it into your pocket or a bin and then said "where is the evidence".

It's only litter if you leave it behind, after all, they don't fine you for putting your shopping bags down, but I suppose they could if you left them.

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I understand that if you do not want to pay the FPN you'll have to go to court. If you do so and you are found guilty of the offence then you are liable to a higher fine, in England the fine could be as much as £2500.

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I understand that if you do not want to pay the FPN you'll have to go to court. If you do so and you are found guilty of the offence then you are liable to a higher fine, in England the fine could be as much as £2500.

 

I don't think that you will be able to avoid this and will get fined more at Court if you try and defend it. Assuming that this hapened in your hometown, this is taken from the Glasgow Council website:-

 

"Litter is a blight on the streets and open spaces in Glasgow and action is being taken by the Clean Glasgow Team to encourage all who live, work and play in the City to improve things.Clean Glasgow Campaign.

Litter Wardens have recently been engaged to patrol Glasgow and their role is to issue fixed penalty notices (£50) in terms of the Environmental Protection Act to people who litter. This includes cigarette ends and chewing gum.

Our policy is to issue fixed penalty notices to all who are seen to litter the streets and open spaces of Glasgow and our wardens are under instruction to issue a fixed penalty notice even if the offender offers to pick up the litter. In the event of non payment the case will be referred to the procurator fiscal who will probably impose a higher fine or may take the matter to court where a fine of up to £2500 can be imposed"

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Oh crap, looks like that was an expensive fag then ...

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I think the thing to do for anyone else caught in this situation is to pick it back up again and make sure you've got a witness to the whole event in case they give you a 'I've started writing the ticket...' line.

 

Or better get your mate to start filming it all on a mobile so you can prove they should've retracted the ticket if they insist on issuing it.

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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It wouldn't matter - they offence is committed as soon as gravity takes the butt and it hits the deck. At the time it was controversial as an offer to pick it up was seen as adequate mitigation, but this was the case back in the 1980's - it didn't work, so the new guidance is you get a ticket regardless. The PF don't break down cases to let you know if they prosecute many, but having seen the mess in Sauchiehall Street from fags and gum, it really is disgusting.

 

If you can put forward any mitigating circumstances, then you might be lucky in getting a cancellation, but on a technicality on the street name, I don't see that flying, as most would know which street was being referred to.

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No the offence hasn't been committed.

 

A little while ago an elderly lady was actually taken to court for throwing down litter, (bread for birds). The judge asked for evidence of the litter and they told him the birds has eaten it.

He was not too impressed at the time that had been waisted and said it should have never been brought to court. He dismissed it.

 

Mitigating circumstances might be that you were only 'extinguishing' it and had no intention to leave it and therefore cause litter.

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Guest Expressit
So ... finished my smoke and stubbed out out on the ground (as everyone does) and went to go into the shop

 

 

Mitigating circumstances might be that you were only 'extinguishing' it and had no intention to leave it and therefore cause litter.

 

Conniff the OP can't use that as mitigating circumstances as he has already stated (see above) that he had in facted committed the offence.

 

Sorry, but I have no sympathy, there is far to much litter and cigarette ends are litter.

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Guest ArthurP

It's quite ridiculous.

 

A fag butt is degradable within a few weeks especially in the weather we have experienced over the last three months or so.

 

What about fag ash that one flicks from a cigarette? This is waste, technically litter, and it drops to the floor but degrades quicker. So it is fine to make a mess so long as it doesn't last too long.

 

If you had stubbed it out against a wall before putting in the bin you would probably get done for criminal damage.

 

Pathetic.

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OP had walked off towards the shop so did intend to leave it there.

 

Again, referring to motoring cases I've read about, evidence isn't always necessary when there's two officers as they corroborate each others account and that's apparently good enough.

 

A bit kak as obv there's room for them to bend the truth - that's why I suggested filming your corrective behaviour and resultant argument (if possible) if it happens again.

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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Sorry but im sick of seeing of fag ends everywhere TBH I wish theyd just bit the bullet and ban it in all public places full stop, dropping a cig butt is as bad as dropping regular rubbish and im just sorry that not all police officers are as strict as the 2 you met were perhaps if they were our streets would be somewhat cleaner!!!!!!!

 

As an aside I get really sick of motorists throwing their cigs out the window on several occassions ive gone up to them and thrown them back in their window

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Dont worry, from now on I'll be chucking my fag ends directly into the bin ...

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Well thats a very mature attitude isnt it moron there's nothing to stop you stubbing them out first is there or wait you could even try this brand new idea its called giving up!

 

So you think irs acceptable for smokers to be exempt from littering laws do you???

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Theres no need for that attitude or name calling.

 

If cigarette ends were the main cause of litter and seeing as they have been in use since Sir Walter Raleigh then the world would be 50 feet deep in them.

 

No one has said smokers should be exempt from anything, or hinted that way.

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Dont worry, from now on I'll be chucking my fag ends directly into the bin ...

 

That's going to be a neat trick when a large number of bins have been removed from streets as an "anti-terrorist" measure (nothing to do with saving money by not needing to empty them, of course)

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Well thats a very mature attitude isnt it moron there's nothing to stop you stubbing them out first is there or wait you could even try this brand new idea its called giving up!

 

So you think irs acceptable for smokers to be exempt from littering laws do you???

 

 

I DIDN'T MEAN LIT for god sake! :roll:

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Lots of councils are giving away portable pocket ashtrays for litter conscious smokers.

 

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Have just emailed my local council, I want one:p especially if its gonna save a fine.

It is hard to know how to dispose of your buts, and your first step is to step on it, then 'find a bin to put it in'.

Good idea:)

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Have just emailed my local council, I want one:p especially if its gonna save a fine.

It is hard to know how to dispose of your buts, and your first step is to step on it, then 'find a bin to put it in'.

Good idea:)

 

Quite easy, put the butt back into the packet. And by the way im not having a go at you, as i'm a smoker and thats what I do.

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I DIDN'T MEAN LIT for god sake! :roll:

 

Well you didnt indicate otherwise did you. I apologise for going off the deep end seeing as thats what you meant but perhaps you might like to be a little clearer next time then ;)

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Quite easy, put the butt back into the packet. And by the way im not having a go at you, as i'm a smoker and thats what I do.

Hi, I roll my own, no packet, but like you, and I'm sure the rest of us evil people, who are making other peoples life a living hell, I am very aware of other peoples discomfort, my best mate is totally no smoking, and I would not impose my addiction on anyone, but I am happy to do anything that helps us all live in harmony:)

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pay the fine. To opt out on a technicality would be wrong, and littering is a crime. It's easy to flick the end of a cigarette once you've finished, to extinguish it and then walk it to the nearest bin, or keep it in your pocket.

 

simple as.

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pay the fine. To opt out on a technicality would be wrong, and littering is a crime.

 

Utter tosh.

 

The law works both ways. Those enforcing it have to abide by the law also. If they cannot or will not then they are not in a position to enforce.

 

There is no moral imperative here, only a statutory one. If the land was policed based on moral grounds, then every time you crept over the speed limit, you should send off your £60 and licence for points, even if you aren't caught

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