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Smokers’ £260 fine for dropping butts
TWO smokers have been ordered to cough up £265 each after they were caught dropping cigarette butts.
Basildon Council took the women to court as part of a campaign to clean up the streets.
Lisa Copperthwaite, 34, of Aspen Court, Basildon, was caught dropping a cigarette butt in the town centre. Tracey White, 32, of Perry Green, Basildon, was seen dropping her dog-end in East Walk, Basildon.
Malcolm Buckley, councillor responsible for the environment, said: “One of the common criticisms of the district is it’s untidy.
“We have a dedicated team which goes around cleaning up, but it would be far better for everybody if people didn’t litter in the first place.
“Cigarette butts are a common problem, so I’m pleased the courts have taken this seriously.
“It will send a message to other people that dropping their litter in Basildon is not acceptable.”
Initially, Copperthwaite and White were each given £75 on-the-spot fines by enforcement officers, but failed to pay up.
Both failed to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court and in their absence were found guilty of depositing litter, under the Environmental Protection Act.
Copperthwaite and White were each fined £100 fine, and told to pay £150 costs and a victim surcharge of £15.
Brian Boyce, the council’s enforcement manager, said: “Our aim is not to fine people, but to keep our streets free of litter. We hope this example will make people think twice.”