Published: 16:32, 09 August 2018
| Updated: 16:35, 09 August 2018
Lazy smokers who dropped their cigarette butts and then refused to cough up an £80 penalty have been slapped with fines four-times that amount.
A group of seven men - prosecuted by Canterbury City Council - were ordered to pay a total of more than £2,000 following a court order on Tuesday.
Each of the litterers, one of whom discarded a butt on the ground despite being three metres away from a bin, were clobbered by a uniformed enforcement officer and handed a fixed penalty notice on the spot.
They each failed to pay the fines and later found themselves with a court summons.
Magistrates ordered five of the litter bugs to pay £335.
Another, who pleaded guilty, was hit with a £262 payment, while a seventh was given a conditional discharge.
Chairman of the council’s community committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “These cases show the council will not hesitate to prosecute those who litter our streets, no matter what they leave on the pavement or in the gutter.
“Research shows many smokers do not consider discarding their butts as littering and think they are an just easy target for our officers.
“But cigarette butts are highly toxic and are laced with chemicals like arsenic, acetone, lead, formaldehyde and pesticides.
“The butts themselves take years to break down.
“One cigarette end might seem insignificant but added together they amount to tonnes of rubbish and cost council taxpayers enormous amounts of money to clear up.”